Gustav Stickley’s Textiles in the Craftsman Interior - continued
page 5





                As in the other forms of textiles within the landscape of the Craftsman home, pillows filled a niche for function and as material for cultivating a pleasing environment. The pillow as a whole could provide a dash of color-- often solid color pillows were appropriate, or the decoration upon it can provide the interest with smaller elements of the design forming jewel points while the fabric itself adds texture and blends with the background.

       The earliest designs for embroidered pillows from the firm were published in October 1903 and were of inspired by designs from Pueblo basketry and pottery—pine tree, deer and bear worked in cross-stitch. While more American Indian inspired designs were developed over the next year for appliqué and stenciled textiles, none became part of the later offerings.


              More typical of the firm’s production, and first illustrated in the June 1904 issue were pillows with appliqué motifs in rose, poppy and trumpet flower, described as designs “based upon floral forms, (which) are rather more realistic, or, it were better to say, less conventionalized than the majority of motifs which are today composed in accordance with new art principles; since the whole plant, or, at least, the entire flower here appears, instead of floral details which have been drawn and re-drawn in a series of studies, until the originals are obscured to the point of being scarcely more than linear fancies.” [xix]


July 1904 p396, interior, pillows, sheer curtain, wall panels

              This explains the main distinction of many of the textile designs for Stickley. While incorporating the process in design of conventionalization which characterized the style of the period, and using techniques, particularly appliqué, which further brought forth these simplified, bold areas of color, the designs themselves retain the life essence of the natural source. The other distinction of Stickley’s pillows is that they were large, usually 25” square and nearly all were square as opposed to many from other companies which were often rectangular. While these large square pillows where ideal for use on settles and window seats there are no known extant pieces .

June 1909, Ginkgo and Orange Pillows, Casement Curtains





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[xix] The Craftsman Vol. VI, No. 3 (June 1904) Flower motifs for curtains and pillows, p. 312.

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Bedspreads and Folding Screens

Arts & Crafts Period Textiles • Dianne Ayres - proprietor
Telephone 510-654-1645 • email:
5427 Telegraph Avenue, #W2 • Oakland, California 94609

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