Verdex
Verdex
24 May, 09:19

Decorative tiles by William De Morgan

Decorative tiles by William De Morgan
William De Morgan was an English potter and creator of decorative tiles. A friend of the famous artist William Morris, he developed design projects for Morris & Co. De Morgan was born in 1839, at the age of 20 he entered school at the Royal Academy, but he was disappointed with his studies. He soon met Morris and members of the Pre-Raphaelite circle. For several years he experimented with stained glass, and in 1863 he became interested in ceramics, to which he devoted the next few decades.

De Morgan is the author of numerous beautiful and functional objects; he paid special attention to the creation of decorative tiles. At the very beginning of his career, not everything went smoothly: once, during experiments with ceramics, a fire broke out - the roof of the workshop caught fire. After moving to a new location, De Morgan continued producing tiles. He hired artists who hand-decorated the material with his designs. Tile blanks were first purchased from Holland, and then from British manufacturers Craven Dunnill, Architectural Tile Pottery and Wedgwood.

De Morgan drew inspiration from the South Kensington Museum (now the Victoria and Albert Museum), and often included oriental motifs in his floral patterns. Its tiles were used in the design of fireplaces, kitchens, bathrooms, and they were used to decorate the interiors of a cruise ship and individual pieces of furniture.


De Morgan's tiles depict birds and animals, flowers and abstract patterns; some designs are combined into complete compositions. It is not known exactly how many projects the designer brought to life - many sketches remained only on paper. At the beginning of the 20th century, De Morgan had problems selling his products; in 1907, he closed his workshop and became a writer, publishing several novels.

Sources:
vam.ac.uk

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