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Arts and Crafts Movement (1894-1923)

Arts and Crafts Movement was an interesting time in which jewelry making, mainly in silver with uncut and cabochon cut stones, was performed from start to finish by one craftsman. Brightly colored enameling was often used. Brooches were popular in that movement. The jewelers during that time were traditionalist.  They did not follow the industrial revolution that occurred in the Victorian Period where jewelry was first stamped out and then hand finished. New on the scene was the philosophy of William Morris who believed that art was achieved when artists worked together.  They formed guilds, worked and even lived together.  He is known to have started the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society which highlighted the work of those artists.  There was no distinction between designers and craftsmen and he believed that they should work in partnership. The goal of creating hand-crafted jewelry barely came into existence because the cost of creating these one of a kind pieces became unaffordable to the class it was intended. C. R. Ashbee was famous in the English Art Nouveau period in which he created jewelry.  He is known to have been influenced by the philosophy of William Morris and founded the School and Guild of Handcrafts.  He performed most of his work in gold and silver using moonstone and pearls. Theodor Fahrner was a famous designer and manufacturer of the Darmstadt School which subscribed to the British Arts and Crafts movement. They produced German style jewelry. In 1890, celluloid which is an artificial plastic, was often used in combs, bracelets and necklaces. In Austria, Joseph Hoffmann led the movement called the Union of Austrian Artist which was founded in 1897.  A few years, later Koloman Moser started the Arts and Crafts Fine Arts Society which had a distinctive design of its own. The Arts and Crafts Movement and the French Art Nouveau Period inspired Georg Jensen of Demark.  His style was referred to as Skonvirke and means “aesthetic activities”. He is still in business today.

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