Playing with Pattern
Have fun with art and maths

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William
Morris

aged 53
Rose Marie
Zuber Company
19th century
Willow Bough
William Morris
1887
Standen House
West Sussex
(National Trust)
We often
see paterns
in nature!

William Morris was famous as a great designer of patterns for use on wallpaper and textiles. He was born in Walthamstow in 1834.

He did not like the over-elaborate designs that were popular with mid 19th-century Victorian taste. He preferred patterns to be flat and wanted to produce more simple, natural designs.

In 1861 he set up a design company to make furnishings for the home, including carpets, wallpaper, tapestries and tiles, stained glass, furniture and textiles. William Morris helped to create the Arts and Crafts style, which would become very fashionable.

We often see pattern in nature, for example honeycomb, growth rings in tree trunks or markings on animals. William Morris felt that the best subject matter for creating pattern, was design based on nature. The examples of nature featuring in his designs are stylised rather than realistic.