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Monday, January 4, 2010

New year, new decade!

Today the holidays are officially over for me -- back at work and kids heading back to school.  Over the last week, like many others, I have reflected on what was accomplished in 2009 and what 2010 will hold (many surprises I hope!).  The biggest change for me in 2009 was my youngest child moving out in August.  A few weeks after he left, the idea for this blog popped almost fully formed into my mind, name and all.  I set it up and gave it a shot, not really knowing if I would be able to keep it going.  Now four months and 70 posts later I am enjoying this experience more than ever, in large part because of all the interesting people whose paths I've crossed in the ether -- the artists, the writers, the crafters, the Morris fans.  You are regularly checking in from every continent (except Antarctica, I'll work on that) and I hope that in my future travels I may meet those of you who have generously offered to show me local Morris sites and even their studios!  Thank you all for enriching my life.

Other unanticipated benefits of WMFC:  This project has sent me to my books and to the internet many times to research posts; Amazon is doing a brisk business with me as I find ever more topics to investigate.  Not only have I learned much more about Morris, but I have been reading about many other artists such as William de Morgan, H. H. Richardson, Gertrude Jekyll and Charles Voysey (you'll be hearing more about these folks).  The blog is also forcing me to learn more about my camera but I really have to credit the beauty of the subject matter for any perceived success in this arena.  Finally, I've learned a lot about blogging and html code and hope I can figure out how to customize some more aspects of my blog page before too long.

I'd like to thank three people in particular here -- each gave me encouragement early on that I really took to heart.  One is my friend Dan Cooper of Cottage Lace, an acknowledged expert on late 19th/early 20th century Arts and Crafts and interior design.   Dan, thanks for everything you've taught me over the years and for letting me play in your sandbox!  Can we go to Olana soon?  The second person is Margaret, writer of the beautiful blog "The Earthly Paradise".  Margaret, many many thanks for the early and enthusiastic shout-out (and continuing tweets) which no doubt have helped many find my blog!  The last person I'd like to thank is Prof. Tony Pinkney, a well-known Morris scholar who writes the blog "William Morris Unbound".  As a fellow university professor (in a field that has nothing to do with Morris), I have a first-hand appreciation of how academics can savage people they feel are intruding on (or worse, trivializing) their domain, especially if they don't have the requisite Ph.D.  Tony, a heartfelt thanks for your positive comments and support!  I always look forward to reading, and learning from, your posts (I had to get out my Mythology fandeck and my dictionary for the last one). 

What's ahead in 2010?  Lots of travel, mostly work-related but as I do not have to be home for kids (empty nest bonus) I'm sure I will find time to visit new museums, old buildings, and local craft markets along the way.  I leave for eight days in Seoul next week and my guidebook from Amazon should show up on my porch soon.

I'll end with a few of my favorite pics from the last four months that speak to Morris's continuing influence on the modern world of art and design.  Morris unbound!

Wishing you all the best in 2010,


Artist David Mabb, Morris/Fruit, Rodchenko/Triple Peaks (2006)
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"a repudiation of the fabricated schism between art and decoration"
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 Artist Mattias Adolfsson, "William Morris I Salute You" 
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