Sunday, 28 May 2023

POSTPONED: Ceramic painting at the Clay Room


William De Morgan lusterware from Wrighwick Manor

Join us for an evening of artistic expression and laughter!

The Clay Room
279 Danforth Avenue, Toronto M4K 1N2

Select from a wide range of ceramic objects and spend a few hours painting your item in the company of fellow Morrisians. We can each bring in food to fuel our creative juices while we paint, or alternatively have a bite to eat beforehand at one of several restaurants in the area. 

The web page shows prices for each object available for you to choose and paint in the do-it-yourself studio’s party room.

Ceramic pieces range in price from $8 to $99 and have a corresponding studio fee. Studio fees which range from $9.50 to $21.50, depending on the size of the piece you paint, include everything we need – paints, brushes, aprons, work area, sponge shapes and letters, stencils, tools for techniques, reference materials, personal assistance, clear glazing and kiln firing.You can also come back to work on your piece as many times as you like over 30 days at no extra charge. Complete costs can range from $18 to $120, depending on what you select. For example, the complete cost of a mug or cereal bowl would be around $27.

After firing in the Clay Room’s kilns, items will be ready for pickup one week later and held for 30 days.

Members only event.
Check your email for the link to sign up!

Wednesday, 19 April 2023

WMSC Trip to Hamilton 2023


Members + Guests

Save the date of Saturday, May 13, for a full-day WMSC field trip to Hamilton to check out Radical Stitch, an exhibit of contemporary Indigenous beading at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, with a tour of the exhibit. We’ll also visit the Royal Botanical Gardens

We’ll depart on our private coach at 9 am from the Yonge and Bloor area. The cost of $100 for members or $120 for non-members includes our coach from Toronto, Gallery admission and tour of the exhibit, lunch, and admission to the gardens.


If you're to provide your own transportation to and around Hamilton, cost for members is $70, $85 for guests, which includes Gallery admission and tour of the exhibit, lunch, and admission to the gardens. 

*Please note that transportation between the gallery and gardens is not included in the No Coach price*

Registration form:


Royal Botanical Rock Gardens, Burlington



Wednesday, 12 April 2023

Zoom Lecture: The Beauty, Politics, and Practicalities of Plants: William Morris and the Garden


The Beauty, Politics, and Practicalities of Plants: William Morris and the Garden

A lecture by Dr. Sarah Leonard

Monday April 24, 2023, 7PM EDT
Members Only Zoom Lecture

Marie Spartali Stillman, Kelmscott Manor. c. 1904. Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library.

“In this presentation, I will explore the importance of the garden to William Morris’s utopian vision and everyday life. Prolific and unpretentious gardens were essential elements of – and symbols of – Morris’s ideal society, appearing frequently in his political and literary texts. This ideal garden, with its combination of structure and free growth, was also an influence on his famed designs for wallpapers and textiles. And last – but certainly not least – gardens were also very real physical spaces at Red House, Kelmscott House, and Kelmscott Manor. This talk will interweave these strands – political, literary, artistic, and horticultural – in order to give a fuller vision of Morris’s garden ideals. I will also look to the larger history of the Victorian and Edwardian garden in order to contextualize Morris’s work, considering both the trends he reacted against and the like-minded artists and gardeners who shared and perpetuated his views and aesthetics, creating a quintessentially English, Arts and Crafts garden style which has remained highly influential into the twenty-first century.”

Dr. Sarah Mead Leonard studies the art, and design, and landscapes of Victorian Britain. She is particularly interested in human interactions with the natural world, and of course the works of William Morris. Her PhD dissertation, “‘The beauty of the bough-hung banks’: William Morris in the Thames Landscape,” investigated Morris’s complex lifelong relationship with the river and its tributaries. A portion of that research was published in the 2021 British Art Studies article “Printed Ecologies: William Morris and the Rural Thames.” She is currently a Postdoctoral Associate in Research at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut.

Dr. Leonard holds MAs in Historic Landscape Studies from the University of York, UK, and Art History from the University of Delaware, and a PhD in Art History from the University of Delaware. She has held fellowships at institutions including the Huntington Library, New College Oxford, and Dumbarton Oaks, and she is a proud past recipient of the William Morris Society in the United States’s Dunlap Fellowship. She has served on the board of the William Morris Society in the United States since 2019, and currently holds the position of Vice President. She also manages two Twitter- based digital projects about William Morris: @EveryMorris, tweeting about every printed pattern by Morris & Co., and @ScreenMorris, tweeting about uses of Morris & Co. patterns in TV and movie set design.

Saturday, 25 March 2023

2023 Cake Reveal: Melsetter


Our pattern this year was designed by May Morris, embroidered alongside Theodosia Middlemore on linen with wool thread. The cake is a carrot cake with cream cheese icing, the birds and flowers rendered in royal icing. Enjoy the video!

Wednesday, 1 March 2023

189th Birthday Lecture: “Gardening with silk and gold thread” botanical imagery in the work of the art embroidery designer May Morris

Lecture by Dr. Lynn Hulse 
Saturday, March 25, 2023
 Zoom at 3 pm EDT

*Lecture followed by a presentation of this year's birthday cake and toast

Embroidery design by May Morris (c1900) © National Museums Scotland

The development of the English cottage garden in the hands of the Irish horticulturalist and journalist William Robinson (1838-1935) had a marked effect on the textile arts during the final decades of the nineteenth century. Author of The Wild Garden (1870) and The English Flowered Garden (1883), Robinson rejected the artificiality and formality of High Victorian pattern gardening in favour of naturalised plantings of perennial shrubs and climbers. His revolutionary approach was reflected in the choice of botanical imagery featured in the work of many Arts and Crafts designers, including May Morris (1862-1938), one of the leading exponents of art embroidery. A constant theme in the work of May Morris is her love of English meadow plants and cottage garden flowers.
Throughout her life, she made detailed studies of plant life to familiarise herself ‘with all the possible peculiarities and diversities of such things.’ But like many other writers on art embroidery, she recognised that the designer’s work ‘should merely recall nature, not absolutely copy it’ (Decorative Needlework, 1893). May Morris’s approach to conventional design will be examined through her work for the embroidery department at Morris & Co. and her special commissions and gifts for family and friends.

Dr Lynn Hulse is a Fellow of both the Royal Historical Society and the Society of Antiquaries of London. She is also co-founder of Ornamental Embroidery, which specialises in the teaching and designing of historic hand stitch through workshops in museums, art galleries and historic houses across the UK. Recent exhibitions include The Needle’s Excellency: contemporary raised work at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (April - June 2017) and the Knitting and Stitching Show (2018), and The Needle’s Art: contemporary hand embroidery inspired by an early Tudor pattern book at the Bodleian Library, Oxford (November 2021- January 2022). Lynn has published widely on the development of art embroidery and is the editor of May Morris: Art and Life (2017) and The Needle’s Excellency: English raised embroidery (2018). She is currently completing a book on Lady Victoria Welby and the founding of the Royal School of Needlework.

Twitter: OEStitch

Friday, 3 February 2023

Members Only Event: The Sister Arts: Fashioning the Victorian Luxury Book

 The Sister Arts: Fashioning the Victorian Luxury Book

Tuesday February 21st, 2023.
Guided tour of the current exhibition.
In-person event: Members please check your email for the sign-up link!

During the long nineteenth century (1789-1914), technologies proliferated to make books into beautiful objects that combined illustration with verse, uniting the 'sister arts' of painting and poetry. The Sister Arts: Fashioning the Victorian Luxury Book explores the ways that luxury book manufacture came to provide roles for women in the book arts, initiating a sisterhood of illustrators, illuminators, engravers, designers, compositors, and even publishers. The manufacture of these beautiful books provided women with the opportunity to adopt a range of professional roles in the book world.

Alongside masterpieces of the fine press, books made and designed by women are featured throughout the exhibition, including Victorian albums and annuals; publications by Emily Faithfull’s Victoria Press and the Yeats Sisters’ Cuala Press; an illuminated manuscript by Lady Louisa Strange; and books featuring women artists, including Phoebe Anna Traquair, Jessie M. King, Anne Lydia Bond, and HRH Princess Beatrice. Highlights of this exhibition include the 1857 Moxon Tennyson, with Pre Raphaelite wood engravings ; two manuscripts illuminated by Alberto Sangorski; the elephant folio edition of Henry Noel Humphreys’s guide to The Illuminated Books of the Middle Ages (1849); decadent Belles Lettres limited editions; and the Kelmscott Chaucer (1896), widely agreed to be the most beautiful book ever printed in English. Focused on British publications, the scope of the exhibition extends from the beginning of the nineteenth century until the onset of the First World War.

Wednesday, 1 February 2023

The Rossettis at Tate Britain

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Paolo and Francesca da Rimini, 1855

A major exhibition devoted to the radical Rossetti generation
April 6 - September 24th, 2023

This exhibition follows the romance and radicalism of the Rossetti generation, through and beyond the Pre-Raphaelite years: Dante Gabriel, Christina and Elizabeth (née Siddal). Visitors will get to experience world-renowned works from their boundary-pushing careers.

The Rossettis’ approach to art, love and lifestyles are considered revolutionary, and this will be thoroughly explored in an immersive show, using spoken poetry, drawings, paintings, photography, design and more.

This is the first retrospective of Dante Gabriel Rossetti at Tate and the largest exhibition of his iconic pictures in two decades.

It will also be the most comprehensive exhibition of Elizabeth Siddal’s work for 30 years, featuring rare surviving watercolours and important drawings.

The Rossettis will take a fresh look at the fascinating myths surrounding the unconventional relationships between Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Elizabeth Siddal, Fanny Cornforth and Jane Morris.