The Knox Guild 1912-1935

The Members, Part I ‘It is striking how few letters and archives associated with interwar women makers survive. The papers of…male artists, designers and architects, were carefully preserved by their wives and children. But …. women can drop out of the already fragile history of the crafts with alarming ease.’ Tanya Harrod (1999) The Crafts inContinue reading “The Knox Guild 1912-1935”


W.A. Ismay and the Wrens

Last night Dr. Helen Walsh of York Art Gallery gave a great presentation on ‘W.A. Ismay The Potters’ Champion’, hosted over zoom by the Decorative Arts Society. The talk covered Bill Ismay and the studio pottery collection he built up over fifty years from the 1950s, bequeathed to York Art Gallery. Over 500 potters areContinue reading “W.A. Ismay and the Wrens”

Birds from Buxton

Two newly acquired Rosemary Wren birds have just been installed in Kingston Museum’s Wren Collection display case. Last year, Bret Gaunt of Buxton Museum and Gallery contacted me to say that he was leading on an Esmee Fairbairn funded project to oversee the dispersal of material from the former Derbyshire School Library Service. Amongst the objectsContinue reading “Birds from Buxton”

Wasps and weeds

Potters Denise and Rosemary Wren were lovers of the natural world, both plants and animals, extending to the wild and weird. The Wrens had chosen to build their home in the village of Oxshott, surrounded by Surrey countryside, though well connected by train to London. According to Rosemary:‘My mother fervently respected all living things; the originalContinue reading “Wasps and weeds”

Time for Knox

In February I gave a paper via zoom as part of the Surrey Arts & Humanities Research Group Spring Seminar Series on the theme of Time. You can read a summary of the paper on the SAHRG site. One of the seminal figures in Denise Wren’s life was Archibald Knox, the Design Master at KingstonContinue reading “Time for Knox”