From Issue 93, Spring 2017
Rare Retired Blocks
Printmaker Kathleen West has carved grooves into sheets
of linoleum mounted on wood blocks for more than 50
years. She inks the blocks, covers them with paper, rubs
them with a wooden spoon, then pulls off bold images of
nature, medieval themes, and literary quotes. Now the
Arts & Crafts artist is selling about 100 retired blocks that
have been sitting in her basement. “For years, I did
not want to let them go,” she says. “But I have finally come
around. They need to be released to collectors who appreciate
them. When they are framed, they look stunning!”
Her one-of-a-kind blocks are sold with the original proof
print and can be purchased at The Mission Motif or
Norberg’s Art & Frame Shop.
Norberg’s Art & Frame Shop
Beautiful Imperfection: Vintage Thin Brick Tile
Years of wear give antique bricks imperfections of texture
and variations of color that can’t be matched.
These gems impart vintage softness and beauty as well
as historical significance. Vintage Bricks, a woman-owned
company based in Atlanta, offers hand-cut tiles
made from genuine reclaimed brick. Solid antique bricks
are cut to your specifications, while retaining original
markings, colors, and remnants of mortar. Once cut,
they are both lighter and thinner and can be installed
like standard tile by the average handy homeowner.
Thin brick tile is an eco-friendly way to add warmth and
character to your home while reducing the impact on landfills created by the demolition process. They can be used as wall veneers and backsplashes; as floors and walkways; and in outdoor patio and firepits.
Nature’s Light and Color: Sunlit Stream
After abandoning an unsatisfying career in commercial art,
Laura Wilder found inspiration in the philosophy and styles
of the Arts & Crafts Movement. Enamored with block prints
of the era, she learned the technique, and 21 years ago, was
certified as a Roycroft Renaissance Artisan in Printmaking.
Block prints require a separate carving and printing for each
color. Even after two decades, Laura finds the process a
humbling adventure, which she sometimes writes about.
Her work often depicts light and color in intimate natural
environments: dappled sunlight glowing through snowy trees
or Summer woods, or reflected gold in an Autumn pond.
After an afternoon hike along a winding stream last year, a
vision for “Sunlit Stream” was born. Like her distant cousin
Laura Ingalls Wilder, Laura hopes her creations help us to
appreciate the simple things of life.
Tiles Inspired by Byrdcliffe
With low-slung mountains on the horizon,
a river curves through an expanse of green
and reflects the sun. Celebrating nature
with simplicity of line and palette, this tile
artwork by Mission Guild Studio was
inspired by early 1900s furnishings of the
Byrdcliffe Arts and Crafts colony in Woodstock,
New York. Artisans there included
painted panels in some of their designs.
Studio owners James M. Miller and Christie
Schorf-Miller—both Roycroft Renaissance-
Awarded Master Artisans—combined their
talents to recreate the feel with three tiles
set in a handcrafted wood frame. This tranquil
landscape tile triptych is part of the
studio’s collection of one-of-a-kind pieces.
Some exclusive offerings are listed on the
studio’s website, while others are shown at
exhibits or gallery shops. Follow the studio
on Facebook to get sneak peeks of their
Authentic Design and Luxurious Comfort
Bungalow Pros in Lake Mills, WI offers handcrafted Arts & Crafts-inspired art pieces for the home, in addition to interior design. These featured items are by Thomas “Bud” Skupniewitz, a self-taught ceramic artist and house painter. His designs vary from monochromatic green glazes with classic Arts & Crafts motifs to Sgraffito style and woodland scenes (pictured), which become more multi-dimensional the closer one looks. Contact Bungalow Pros to find out more about him and many other artists.