Monday, 6 June 2022

Guild Park Gardens Tour


Guild Park and Garden Tour

Sunday June 19, 2022, Time: 2:00 PM EDT
Members only event, Members can bring guests.

The tour takes place outside. All participants are welcome and encouraged to wear a mask. 
All participants are invited to respect the choices and distance needed by others in the group.

Please do not come to the walk if you are feeling unwell or answer yes to any of the COVID screening questions outlined by Ontario public health. Those COVID screening questions can be found at

This event allows members to bring a guest for a $10 fee. 

Sunday, 5 June 2022

Arts & Crafts Metalwork

 David Parr House

Arts and Crafts Metalwork
June 2nd - July 30, 2022
Digital exhibition free to access

A copper charger with repoussé central peacock pattern and motto. This design
was illustrated in The House: A Journal of Home Arts and Crafts in July 1900. The motto is
that of the Fordham family who had estates in Cambridge area. This is a variation of a
design by George Tanner, circa 1900. Image Credit – Dave Marshall

In the winter of 1890, the class was begun by a local estate owner, Harold Hurrell, in the
small village of Newton, Cambridgeshire. Like many philanthropic employers at the time,
Harold was keen to improve the education and quality of life for the workers in his
community. The class would evolve into the Newton School of Metal Work and continue to
operate successfully for over half a century.

The School began at the peak of the Arts & Crafts Movement as one of numerous classes
under the umbrella of the Home Arts and Industries Association but it was one of a much
smaller number to become both a thriving metal working school and a successful village

This exhibition, based on research conducted by Arts and Crafts dealer, Dave Marshall, will
explore the history of the School from beginning to end; the founders, key designers and
workers and the organizations that influenced and shaped its success.

Piecing together the history of a School that was little documented during its lifetime is never
straightforward but it has been made much easier by the foresight of a relative of the former
tutor at the School, Bob Pluck, who thankfully retained an important archive of designs and

A copper and tin hot water jug with wooden handle designed by George Tanner in 1901 (Object No.30 Private Collection of Dave Marshall)

Pilgrim Trust Curator at David Parr House, Charlotte Woodley, says:

“We were very excited to have this opportunity to work with Dave Marshall to create this new
exhibition on the Newton School of Metalwork. So much is owed to Bob Pluck, who, like
Elsie Palmer at the David Parr House, was a careful custodian of a relative’s creative output,
this time in the form of the rich design archive. For the first time 47 pieces created by
the School will be displayed in our visitor centre and through our digital exhibition we are
able to connect the pieces with their design history. We hope that by telling the story of this
local Arts and Crafts School we help to cement its place in history, reviving not only the
memory of the school and its founders and designers, but also that of the 70 working class
men associated with it.”

Dave Marshall (Arts and Crafts dealer and Researcher) says:

“In early 2020 the chance find of a piece by the Newton School of Metal Work led
eventually to an introduction to Bob Pluck. Bob was a life long resident of Newton
village in Cambridgeshire and his great uncle had been the full time tutor at the
School for many years. Over the next year or so we became friends and worked
together on piecing together the full history of the School using an incredible archive
of material that Bob had the foresight to salvage from the old workshops.

This exhibition is the culmination of that project, combining historical facts with
original photographs and hand drawn designs alongside a significant number of
pieces of art metalwork produced by the School. Sadly Bob Pluck passed away in
August of 2021 but I know he was both excited about and keen to support this
exhibition which will finally help to show the contribution of this largely forgotten
School to Arts and Crafts metalwork and the local community.”

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

GIVEAWAY! (now closed)

We’re hosting a giveaway!!!

We’ve partnered with August Berg to gift one follower a stunning William Morris Strawberry Thief watch in silver/green!

Head over to our instagram page for full contest details!

Ars Longa, Vita Brevis

RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the Morris & Co. Garden

It is such a delight to see the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with the Morris & Co. garden.

Designed by Ruth Willmott Associates the garden is a modern interpretation of two of William Morris’s most iconic wallpaper designs, Trellis and Willow Boughs, and uses colour and pattern to bring his beautiful interiors into the natural outdoor setting which inspired them.

Incorporating the movement and sound of water into a garden can transform the space, but it’s important to make sure it creates the precise sound and the atmosphere you want to achieve before installing it.

In the Morris & Co. Garden at RHS Chelsea this year, a sequence of water channels will flow though the space inlaid with metal screens that will be laser-cut with Morris’ famous Willow Boughs pattern.

"I have long admired the work of William Morris, so it was a tremendous thrill to create this garden for Morris & Co. and we are all SO delighted to receive a Gold medal!" - Ruth Willmott

"Bringing the garden to life has involved dozens of skilled and dedicated experts each adding a creative layer to the finished garden, and it’s been particularly thrilling to collaborate with so many talented craftspeople this year." - Ruth Willmott


Sunday, 15 May 2022

Not Just A Park - Film Screening


Not Just a Park
A History of Toronto Island - Film screening

May 16, 2022, Time: 7:00 PM EDT
Members only Zoom Event 

Filmmaker Michael Kainer has written, directed and produced four feature documentaries, all with Toronto historical or cultural themes. His latest work, "Not Just a Park: A History of Toronto Island" features a rich store of archival images, including many drawn from the holdings of the Toronto Public Library's Special Collections.

Monday, 9 May 2022

Morris & Co. Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show


Award-winning garden and landscape designer Ruth Willmott is designing the Morris & Co. Show Garden at RHS Chelsea 2022. Discover more about the planting and layout of the garden in her second Chelsea Flower Show blog excerpts below.

Ruth Willmott in William Morris's garden at Kelmscott Manor


William Morris had a passion for English hedgerows and an affinity to the natural world, so it’s crucial to me that the garden works with nature. I want the planting to reflect a natural, countryside setting and provide a welcoming environment for wildlife.

Morris was an early advocate of using native species and long-cultivated non-natives to attract birds and bees, which is an approach I use in all of my garden designs. So, I’ll be mixing cottage garden favourites such as iris, peony, dianthus, geranium, foxglove and the soft velvety foliage of Stachys byzantina to achieve blue, purple, earthy red and apricot tones. The garden will also feature shrubs chosen to provide shelter, shade and food for wildlife.


Look out for weeping, twisted and pollarded varieties of willow in the garden. This choice was inspired by Morris’s famous ‘Willow Boughs’ design, alongside hawthorn foliage that appeared in his ‘Jasmine’ design.

Elsewhere, cotoneaster, Berberis and viburnum will feature, while roses, which were another of Morris’s favourites, will grow in both rambling and climbing varieties. I’m particularly excited about the spectacular ‘winged thorn’ rose (Rosa sericea subsp. omeiensis f. pteracantha), with its translucent red thorns which glow like rubies in the morning and evening light.

'Trellis’ and ‘Willow Boughs’


Of course, the naturalistic world that inspired Morris was largely to be found in the rural landscape, while our Chelsea Show Garden will be in the heart of London. So, to create the sense of being immersed in a country garden, I’ll use plants in abundance. For me, whether urban or rural, a garden should always have a far greater proportion of soft planting over hard surface. The Morris & Co. Garden, much like all of my projects, will work on a ratio of 3:1 planting to hard landscaping.

Central to the design is a quadrant, inspired by another of Morris’s iconic designs, ‘Trellis’.  This will consist of a series of inter-connecting pathways forming the shape of the garden. It’s this structure that will allow me to manage the volume of plants. All gardens, in fact, benefit from structure underneath soft planting. This allows plants to ramble freely without creating a wholly untamed nature reserve!

Putting everything together

Colour and harmony will be key to the success of the garden so, as the plants slowly begin to emerge, now’s also the time to see how they work together. Most importantly, I’ll be looking at how they blend with other elements in the garden such as the central pavilion, with its laser-cut screens layered with two contrasting colours in the shape of the ‘Willow Boughs’ design.

Everything is looking positive and, with just days to go until we go on site to begin the build, the weather is looking promising too… just as long as the plants don’t peak too soon!

The Morris & Co. Garden can be found on Main Avenue at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show from 23-28 May 2022.
To find out more about the garden design practice Ruth Willmott Associates, click here.
Read Ruth’s first Chelsea Flower Show blog here.

Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Sourcing & Making Pigments & Paints: Anong Beam


Sourcing & Making Pigments & Paints

Art + Craft 

April 28, 2022, Time: 7:30 PM EDT
Members only Zoom Event 

Artist and paint maker Anong Migwans Beam lives and works in her home community of M'Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island. Raised by artist parents Ann and Carl Beam, she was homeschooled and apprenticed with her father in ceramic, pigment and clay gathering as well as in his painting and photography studio. In addition to the School of Fine Arts in Boston and the Ontario College of Art and Design, she studied at the Institute of American Indian Art.

Anong has also drawn inspiration from the work of William Morris.

In 2018 she founded Beam Paints, makers of plastic free paints and watercolours inspired by her culture and pigment gathering of her youth. 

“With our Indigenous paint tradition, we seek to celebrate the colours of the wide world with the intimacy of the northern forest - and in this fusion create paint that makes you and your paintings feel vibrantly alive."