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William and May Morris: Olive and Rose

And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything. ~Shakespeare As You Like It

William and May Morris Olive and Rose tile, Pink on white background William and May Morris Olive and Rose tile, Red on wheat background William and May Morris Olive and Rose tile, Tangerine on black background

Morris & Co. Olive and Rose

Olive and Rose was a firescreen produced by Morris & Co. The symmetrical design of the pattern is characteristic of William Morris. This firescreen pattern was implemented by May Morris, Morris's daughter and Director of Embroidery at Morris and Co. The colors and directness of the implementation are characteristic of May's style. Her philosophy of needle work is evident:

William and May Morris, Olive and Rose firescreen

In past times it was natural and instinctive to decorate one's stitchery ; a seam or hem would have some little touches of the needle beyond the mere piecing together or turning in of raw edges : from this stage grew the enrichment of hanging or robe for avowedly decorative purposes, but it should be noted that all the decoration had meaning in its beauty. I will not stop here to consider this phrase, which will be referred to later on in discussing the suitability of embroidery to various objects.

Well, now-a-days, almost the only article of stitchery in which the two branches of the art, namely, plain sewing and embroidery, are wedded, is in the body-linen of a very fine lady, who loves to accumulate dainty linen round her, fine as gossamer, wrought by what under-paid work-girl she does not know or care. The following lines from a popular fashion-paper describe with unction the beauties of such garments : 'The nightgowns are remarkable for their exquisite work, the dotting all hand-wrought, the tiny a jour veining appearing between the pleats' . . . and so forth ad nauseam.

Olive and Rose Tiles

Designer: William and May Morris

Tile: Ceramic

Sizes: 6 inch and 8 inch square

Colors: pink, red, tangerine

Background: white, black, wheat

Pricing for Olive and Rose

6 x 6 inch tiles: $56 each

8 x 8 inch tiles: $78 each

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May Morris A Garden Piece Border Tile

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Olive and Rose

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