Jane Burden Morris, Red House Daisies

Jane Burden Morris, La Donna Della Finestra, Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Jane Burden Morris, creator of Red House Daisies

The Importance of Daisies

Such as men call daisies in our town.
For them I have so great an affection,
As I have said, at the start of May,
That in my bed there dawns no day
When I'm not up and walking in the mead
To see this flower to the sun freed
~Chaucer, The Legend of Good Wimmen

Daisies are the earliest and most recurring theme in Morris's tile and textiles. They appear in so simple a tile as Columbine but make their appearance in Membland, The Forest, and many others. The rose, symbol of true love, appears far less often than the daisy, which for Morris and Chaucer honors women, their strength and fidelity. In The Romaunt of the Rose, Chaucer makes many disparaging remarks. In the Prologue to The Legend of Good Wimmen, the God of Love appears to Chaucer in a dream dressed in the colors of the daisy take him to task for his irreverence. Good Wimmen is his redemption.

Medieval Daisies

The first daisy pattern was designed in 1862 by William Morris and embroidered in wool by Jane Morris, her sister Bessie, and friends to decorate Red House, Jane and William's medieval-inspired home. The original design is inspired by 'Dance of the Wodehouses', taken from a late fifteenth-century manuscript, Froissart's Chronicals. The daisies are against the back wall.

Dance of the Wodehouses.

Dance of the Wodehouses, inspiration for Morris Daisies

What's a Wodehouse, you ask?

Definition: A Wodehouse, or Wodewose, is a mythic wild man, something of a cross between a berserker (Noridic crazy man, from which the term "berserk" comes) and a Green Man. The wodehouse was a savage, naked or ivy-covered, a satyr or faun. Morris was enchanted with mythic and natural symbols, such as Yggdrasil (The Viking Tree of Life).

Morris discovered the dancing wodehouses in a painting from Froissant's Chronicals, a 15th century manuscript depicting the Bal des Ardents (Ball of the Burning Men), a masquerade ball held on 28 January 1393 in Paris. At the Ball, Charles VI of France performed in a dance with five members of the French nobility, during which the dancers' costumes, made of linen soaked in resin and flax, caught fire from a torch brought in by a spectator.

Evolution of Daisies: Daisy Tile Backsplash

William Morris Daisy Tiles, 1860s-1882

This backsplash is built on Morris daisies spanning more than three decades. From top: 1882 Morris & Co Daisies (sold into the 1920s), second row, 1870s fronded daisy, bottom row: 1860s Morris daisy tile. It's fine to order just one variation of the tiles, but layering them makes an interest effect. And it has a nice backstory, both as to their being inspired by Jane's original daisies and because of the way they were made:

The first daisy tiles sold by 'The Firm' were hand painted in blue and yellow on tin-glazed Dutch banks. This gave them an opaque white appearance. After being painted, the tiles were fired again at a lower temperature which resulting in the glaze barely softening so the color sat on top of the background without being fused into it. (Read why this was a problem). I've tried to duplicate that effect of the image floating over the tile in the 1860s tiles.

Daisies are available in 4.25 and 6 inch tiles.You can customize the Evolution of Daisies backsplash to fit any size area. For example, 25 4.25 inch tiles will cover a 34 x 13 inch under cabinet backsplash.

Quick Order Evolution of Daisies Backsplash

You can quick order The Evolution of daisies in 4.25 inch tiles. If you are ordering many tiles, need a different size, or a combination of different tile products, see How to Order Tile to take advantage of discounts and better shipping prices.

  • Order Evolution of Daisies.

    If you are ordering many tiles, need a different size, or a combination of different tiles, see How to Order Tile to take advantage of discounts and better shipping prices.

    After you've checked out, choose Return to Website to be redirected to the confirmation page where you can tell me which dragons tiles (by name or number), ask any questions you might have, and tell me about your project. I will send you an email to confirm your order.

This only works for the US and Canada. For other countries, contact me so I can give you a shipping estimate and we can go from there..

The shipping calculator should work for the US and Canada. If it's off, we can settle up when I ship your order. For other countries, contact me so I can give you a shipping estimate and we can go from there..

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1864 Woodblock Daisies

1864 daisy pattern, 8 x 6 inches

Early on, Morris strongly preferred tapestries and embroidery to wallpaper. He did not begin to design wallpaper and fabric in earnest until he was able to make his own at Merton Abbey in 1865. Daisy, along with Bird and Trellis, and Pomegranate were the first wallpapers printed with pearwood blocks; Morris subcontracted their production until he moved operations to Merton Abbey. Woodblocks were not, however, his first choice. His first attempts to print his designs while still at Red Lion Square using oil colors and etched zinc blocks failed.

In Daisy, the clumps of flowers are arranged on horizontal lines.

The 1862 Daisy wallpaper pattern tiles are 8 x 6 inches.

How to order Daisy Woodblock tiles

Order a Sample Daisy Tile

Because of their odd size, Daisy Wallpaper tiles are poor candidates for quick order. You can order a small sample tile to get an idea of pattern size and relative colors, but it won't be seamless.

  • Get a non-seamless sample tile.

    If you are ordering many tiles, need a different size, or a combination of different tiles, see How to Order Tile to take advantage of discounts and better shipping prices.

    After you've checked out, choose Return to Website to be redirected to the confirmation page where you can tell me which dragons tiles (by name or number), ask any questions you might have, and tell me about your project. I will send you an email to confirm your order.

This only works for the US and Canada. For other countries, contact me so I can give you a shipping estimate and we can go from there..

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Jane Morris Daisy

Jane Morris Red House Daisy Tiles

During the first years of their marriage, while living at Red House, Morris designed the first daisies and Jane implemented them. Jane Morris's first daisies were embroidered on a serge that she was quite excited to have found in a shoppe. Serge was a popular material in the 19th century, and hers was dyed with indigo and sulphuric acid. Topsy and Jane made a series of curtains and wall hangings. After the Morrises moved from Red House, the curtains hung in the dining room of Edward Coley Burne-Jones estate, The Grange. The wall hanging were later discovered lining a dog-basket at Kelmscott Manor in the 1960s.

Several versions of daisy tile took their inspiration from Jane's original daisy pattern, as did Columbine.

Jane Morris Daisies are available in 4.25, 6, and 8 inch tiles.

Quick Order Jane Morris Daisies

You can quick order Jane Morris Daisies in 4.25 inch tiles. If you are ordering many tiles, need a different size, or a combination of different tile products, see How to Order Tile to take advantage of discounts and better shipping prices.

  • Order Jane Morris Daisies.

    If you are ordering many tiles, need a different size, or a combination of different tiles, see How to Order Tile to take advantage of discounts and better shipping prices.

    After you've checked out, choose Return to Website to be redirected to the confirmation page where you can tell me which dragons tiles (by name or number), ask any questions you might have, and tell me about your project. I will send you an email to confirm your order.

This only works for the US and Canada. For other countries, contact me so I can give you a shipping estimate and we can go from there..

When I get your order, I'll send you a confirmation mail.

The shipping calculator should work for the US and Canada. If it's off, we can settle up when I ship your order. For other countries, contact me so I can give you a shipping estimate and we can go from there..

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Early Fronded Daisy

Early fronded daisy tiles, with yellow flowers and dark green leaves, on white blanks

The early fronded daisy is available in green and yellow on a white background. It is available in 4.25 inch ceramic only.

Quick Order Early Fronded Daisies

  • Order Early Fronded Daisies.

    After you've checked out, choose Return to Website to be redirected to the confirmation page where you can tell me which dragons tiles (by name or number), ask any questions you might have, and tell me about your project. I will send you an email to confirm your order.

This only works for the US and Canada. For other countries, contact me so I can give you a shipping estimate and we can go from there..

When I get your order, I'll send you a confirmation mail.
William Morris bed cover detail, embroidered by Jane and May Morris

William Morris bed cover detail, embroidered by Jane and May Morris

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Pricing for Ceramic Tiles

4.25 inch square tiles: $42 each

6 inch square tiles: $51 each

6 inch by 8 inch tiles: $68 each

Minimum Order: For 4.25 and 6 inch: 6 tiles, any combination. For 8x 6 inch: 5 tiles.

Availability*: Tiles without custom work (see How to Order Tile for what that means) can ship fairly quickly in the 4.25 and 6 inch versions. For other sizes, there may be a little longer wait on larger orders as I don't stock as many of these blanks.

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