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Morris Takes the Prize

Morris Takes the Prize



Michael was selected as the winner of our Spring Bella Creations contest. The design uses a frame from our Morris collection and is a great pairing of art and frame; both visually arresting and historically appropriate. 

William Morris (1834–1896) was a British textile designer associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement. Our namesake Morris collection celebrates his stylized motifs of the natural world with interpretations of acanthus, honeysuckle and oak leaf. 

In Britain and America, the Arts and Crafts movement coincided with a craze for all things Japanese, or Japanism, that was launched in 1854 when Japan was forced to recommence international trade after over two centuries of virtual isolation. The Japanese objects that soon flooded the art market excited Westerners because of their sheer novelty and greatly influenced the artists of the age.

The Arts and Crafts practitioners embraced Japanese style because the focus on detail, natural elements and superb craftsmanship seemed to be born of a culture free from the depravities of modern industrialism; an ideal the modern artists were trying to promote in their own work. Japanese prints, with their artistic expressions of subjects like birds, flowers, landscapes, and the seasons along with the distinctive color palette, were studied, revered and incorporated by designers like Tiffany, Stickley, Wright and Morris. 

So it's perfectly fitting that Michael was able to pair an Arts and Crafts influenced frame with this client's Japanese print. The print was purchased by the customer's wife's grandfather who served in the army. The print, purchased in Japan before the Korean war, was kept in a container for over 50 years and uncovered only after his passing. This is an original print of The Cheoneunsa Temple in Korea by  (川瀬 巴水 Kawase Hasui -- one of the most prominent print designers of the shin-hanga (new prints) movement.  There is another edition of this print hanging in the Museum of Fine Arts Boston circa 1940. 

The print is floating between 2 pieces of acrylic so that all of the printers signatures and marks will show and then backed with acid free foam core.  

Michael's customer had been thinking of framing this piece for several years, but was waiting for just the right frame, which they found in the Morris Oak Leaf.  The tones and textures of the moulding compliment the print perfectly. The subtle indigo wash on the frame draws the eye in to the blue roof and stones in the background, the grain of the moulding speaks to the twisted wooden beams and the curvy shapes in the leaf motif mirror the natural contour of the rocks leading the eye seamlessly  from foreground to background.

Again, congratulations to Michael who is the first entry in the grand prize contest for a free trip to WCAF Vegas in January 2018. Watch our Facebook page for the summer Creations contest round to be announced in early June. Snap some pics of that special project using a Bella Moulding or a Prisma frame and you could be the next winner!

See inspiration for the Morris collection on Pinterest.

View and order the Morris collection.

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