30 Crafts edited by Mavis Fitzrandolph

P1050918 P1050919This book was bought some months ago in Castle Douglas what a gem! Published by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes – edited by Mavis Fitzrandolph, features an introduction by the Countess of Abermale and a very trenchant essay on design by Hebe Cox.

“WE should always avoid dishonesty in our designs – wallpaper printed to resemble linen-folded panelling, celluosed cloth embossed to imitate the grain of leather, electric light fittings shaped like wax candles (sometimes even with a drip of wax running down the side!) or plastics coloured to look  like wood veneer (which are frequently seen on the cases of wireless sets). That class of ornamentation which consists of making one material look like another is merely silly. Ornament should grow out of the form of the thing decorated and should emphasise rather than detract from its nature. For example the decoration on a plate should take account of its roundness. A plate with a square pattern put on it haphazardly, or with a design of horizontal stripes running right across it, would be rather worrying,  would not look well, and would make it very easy to miss putting food squarely on it.”

Oh dear cannot but think its a good thing that Hebe has perhaps missed hipster ceramacists which I suspect somewhere on Etsy are committing many  such design solecisms.


  1. Katy said:

    Goodness, poor lamb…. I wonder if she ever crocheted toiled roll covers?

  2. perhaps that is what made her have such strong views? but in the 30s depression she was working in Wales to bring work to women via quilting. I realise I saw some of the results of her work at the V&A quilting exhibtion a few years ago

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