Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 286

The Arts and Crafts Movement


Hello Everyone



Have you ever noticed that it seems like the more our lives are taken over by technology, the more people seem to crave hand-made objects? 


Knitting has become popular, hand-made toys and jewellery and all sorts of other different rustic crafts as well.


lt is like the faster the world changes, the more we want to keep hold of the familiar traditions that help to make us feel secure.


And what is more, people, it seems, have always been like this.


Humans, on the whole, don’t like change – even when things are changing for the better.  lt may be the fear of the unknown, or having a feeling that they don’t have complete control over a situation.


There have been many turning points in history when there were great changes in people’s lives. 


l talked about the lndustrial Revolution in Blog Post 276 when l told you about the Luddites.


Otherwise, people might create a movement that produces ideas, fashions or products that are different from the mainstream – just because these mainstream fashions are not to their taste.


The Arts and Crafts Movement was started by a group of people in the mid 1800s who wanted to rebel against factory-made goods.  The Great Exhibition of 1851 displayed a huge range of goods that were examples of what they wanted to rebel against.  They thought many of the items on display were overly-elaborate, vulgar and artificial.


They wanted to get back to producing things that were hand-made by craftsmen and which were generally inspired by the simple patterns found in nature.  They liked to work with natural materials like wood.


They had their own ideas about design and decoration – but they were also influenced by mediaeval and folk design.


They wanted people to be proud of the things that they designed and made themselves rather than to just slave over machines doing repetitive and boring jobs.


lf you like making things, you will understand how they felt.


John Ruskin and William Morris founded the Art Workers’ Guild in 1884 with the ambition of bringing together artists, designers, makers and also architects so that they could work together bringing their specialized skills to different projects. 


Music and drama was also important to the movement and later it incorporated sculpture, metalwork, books, ceramics, stained glass, jewellery, embroidery, photography and more besides.


The two men didn’t just care about what these people produced either; they cared about the people in the group as well.


Mass-produced items were cheaper for the masses to buy, but they had a different quality to them compared to hand-made goods.  Moreover, life in factories could be hard and even dangerous at times – so could this situation be counted as progress? 


Ruskin and Morris had strong ideas about how people should be treated.  They were concerned that traditional skills and people’s rights should be preserved amid the rapid industrialization of society.  Ruskin said that repetitive work in factories was soul-destroying for an individual, especially as they had had no part in the design of the objects they were making.


So they set up a pioneering movement with a huge focus on traditions and reform, practicality and romance.


They set up guilds and workshops.


The goods produced in these workshops could be simple or elaborate, rough or quite sophisticated with bright colours and rich patterns.  They wanted it to be possible that a home could be a whole work of art.


Very importantly, women took important roles in the movement.  They were valued as designers and makers just as much as the men were.


The movement welcomed professionals, amateurs and students.


Art schools and technical colleges, especially in London, Glasgow and Birmingham, played an important role in spreading the ideas which lasted well into the 1950s – and beyond; although the full strength of the movement faded with the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.


There were whole communities of people working together set up in the countryside in places like Cornwall, Sussex and the Cotswolds.  As they were anti-industrial it seemed natural to live in places like this.


The ideas of the movement also travelled to America, Europe, Russia and even all the way to Japan where it was embraced by many artists and designers.


Some people today will still buy Arts and Crafts’ style wallpaper or furniture for their houses.  Some people even live in Arts and Crafts’ style houses.


William Morris lived in a house called Red House in London.  lt was designed by Philip Webb and was completed in 1860.  lt is very famous for being one of the most significant buildings of the movement Morris helped to create.


Morris loved experimenting with various crafts.  He loved interior design and making furniture.  He began to make furniture and decorative objects commercially in 1861 for homes and also churches and they quickly became popular, particularly after they had been displayed in the 1862 International Exhibition.


He then became more involved with and focused on the ideas of socialism but by this time his ideas were being carried far and wide by many other people.


The famous garden designer Gertrude Jekyll applied Arts and Crafts principles to garden design and created many landscapes around properties designed by architect Edwin Lutyens.


Many buildings and works of art are on display to the public for anyone to go and see.


But l think in order for you to get a full flavour of what the Arts and Crafts Movement products look like, you now need to visit the Picture Gallery to see them for yourself.



Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!


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Thank you!


And see you again next Fun Friday!


Love and kisses




Salty Sam






Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bob:  Why do artists earn a lot of money?


Bill:  l don’t know.  Why do artists earn a lot of money?


Bob:  Because they can draw their own wages.



Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

Links may be used to


wheelPicture Gallery


Arts and Crafts houses often have different roof levels


Wallpapers were often covered with flowers


Wood panelled walls were often decorated with carvings


A decorated staircase


William Morris


Working with wood was very popular









If you are learning to do embroidery, it is a very good idea to start on very small projects that you can hold in your hand without needing a frame.

This project is very small and you can design your own picture to put on.  You can make it with any colours you like.

You could put on an initial and give it away as a present.

You could make a few and use them as cracker presents.

The back of your work will not be seen but make sure it doesn’t have any loose loops in it or become too bulky otherwise it will be difficult to put the marker on a page. 





Cut out two small hearts of felt.



Embroider onto the top of one heart.

You could sew an initial or flowers or a random pattern.

Make sure you don’t have big loops of thread at the back to catch on the corner of the page.

The heart in the photograph has a white front and a pink back and the embroidery is worked in pink thread.

Sew along the straight edges of the heart and now it should slip onto the corner of a page.








Quick Quiz


What do these idioms mean?


  1. A few home truths
  2. To come from a broken home
  3. To hit home
  4. Nothing to write home about
  5. Until the cows come home






lt’s the Weekend!




This sock will help protect your mobile phone when being carried in a bag.



Using 4mm knitting needles and blue dk yarn cast on 22 stitches

Knit 10 rows of stocking stitch


Key =

B = blue

W = white


Knit row

4b 2w 4b 2w 4b 2w 4b


Purl row

1w 2b 4w 2b 4w 2b 4w 2b 1w


Knit row

4w 2b 4w 2b 4w 2b 4w


Purl row

1b 2w 4b 2w 4b 2w 4b 2w 1b


Knit 2 rows of stocking stitch in blue


Repeat the last 6 rows 3 times


Knit 20 rows in stocking stitch in blue dk yarn


Purl 1 row

Purl 1 row

Knit 1 row

Knit 1 row


Cast off


This is the wave pattern

     XX       XX        XX       XX  


  X    XXXX   XXXX   XXXX  X

           XX        XX       XX



Using 4mm knitting needles and blue dk yarn cast on 22 stitches

Knit 54 rows of stocking stitch


Purl 1 row

Purl 1 row

Knit 1 row

Knit 1 row


Cast off



Sew up the bottom and side seams using over-sew stitching and blue yarn with right sides together.

Turn the sock the right way out.

Make a cord by crocheting 70 chains into a length of blue yarn.

Thread it through the channel at the top of the pouch and tie a knot into the ends incorporating a bead into the knot.




If you have a very large phone, add four extra stitches each side and extend the pattern each side.  You will of course have to cast on 30 stitches instead of 22.


Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2008sand



Quick Quiz Answers


  1. A few home truths – the true facts about someone or something that may be difficult to hear
  2. To come from a broken home – the person’s parents were divorced
  3. To hit home – to realize something that might be difficult to accept
  4. Nothing to write home about – nothing noteworthy/of interest
  5. Until the cows come home – for a long time




For an Embroidery Stitches Chart

Check out Blog Post 3

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