The few moments that I have down time have been spent perusing my book collection. You may already know that I am smitten with Art Nouveau. Prints, jewelry, sketches and architecture of this time are my absolute favorite.
Upon finding this image in a book of mine I came to realize that Art Nouveau came to being for many of the same reasons that today's craft movement came to life. There is a little bit of writing above this sketch which reads as follows...
"...co-operative ideals growing up in our midst, and we shall find in the development of the workshop the solution of the problems of style and criticism in Art and Craft. Finally, we must have, in our exhibitions, schools, and polytechnics, complete representation from workmen in their societies, Thus alone can the workshop be reconstructed, and a noble national Art in the end be created. The great question of the consumption of its commodities-the question of the point of view of the public outside, which I touched upon in the second chapter, and leave for later consideration; but the workshop from within may suggest ways and means for this also. The destinies of British Art, Craft and Industry must eventually be decided by the British working classes; even as they are at present slowly and surely solving our social and economic questions, and in the end it may yet be told how, from the obscene bulb of the plutocracy, sprang the tulip of the new civilisation."
Charles Robert Ashbee A Few Chapters in Workshop Reconstruction and Citizenship, 1894
For so long I have just been admiring pretty pictures and architecture resulting from this movement. Now I realize I am drawn to more than something pretty. I am drawn to the mission of re-defining our culture through handmade objects. I can't help but thinking that I am fully participating in this generation's Art Nouveau movement. I wonder what we are to be called. But I don't want to put too much thought into that. I want to get making and live in the moment.
happy making! and happy winter solstice!