In this simple essay I am going to explore the movement of Arts & Craft. I will look at who made what and how Arts & Crafts changed over the years.
It was until the 19th and early 20th centuries that championed the values of individual handicraft during a period of increasing mass production. The movement of Arts & Crafts originated in Britain where it had its richest expressions but it also made huge impact in continental Europe and the US.
The movement gets its name from the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society which was founded in 1888, but its source goes back to around the middle 19th century. It was very loosely ordered movement, embracing many different thoughts, practice and style. To some supporters it was a very serious matter, involving essential concerns about human culture. However to others it was the opposite they were playful and expressed the same kind of "back to nature" culture which has influenced many different fashion of the 19th and 20th century.
The strongest force in shaping the ideas of the movement was John Ruskin who was the most influential art critic of the 19th century. Ruskin hated the so called factory made products that governed the Great Exhibition of 1851 and he also vigorously showed his hatred in his book called "The Stones of Venice" (1851-1853), Ruskin was also a social critic. Ruskin being both a social and art critic he condemned factory work as degrading and poor, believing the key to all this was beautiful medieval art which he loved so much is the idea of craftsman who took the role of the reeking and poor qualities of factory work.
Ruskin's ideas were put into practice by another Victorian who was called William Morris. Morris was a designer and a craftsman.