International studio — 23.1904

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Notes on
which is no slight matter, he can find a respite and
refreshment after the labor that is inseparable from
a show so prodigious.
OTES ON THE CRAFTS.
Amongst the handsomest art exhibits at
the St. Louis Exposition will be the mag-
nificent writing-table and chair designed
and executed by the Gorham Manufacturing Co.,
of which we are privileged to show illustrations to
our readers. This table has taken a number of
years to complete, and has cost many thousands of
dollars. The wood is ebony, inlaid with silver and
ivory and other precious materials. As will be seen
from the illustrations, the design is a masterpiece in
itself, and those who are acquainted with the ex-
cellence always displayed in the workmanship of the
Gorham Manufacturing Co. will be prepared for the
perfect execution of the design by the craftsmen
employed upon it. At the same time we are taking
the opportunity of printing, for the benefit of our
readers, illustrations of some of the latest silver-work,
in which the Gorham Manufacturing Co. have a
style quite individual, and indeed unsurpassed by
craftsmen in the same field anywhere in the world.
It is only in recent years that the silversmith’s art
has taken the same steps forward as have the other
arts and crafts under the healthy influence of such
prophets as Ruskin, William Morris, and others.
Owing to various reasons, partly no doubt to strong
masonic traditions still influencing this branch of
the crafts, silversmiths have kept along the rut of
classical designs inherited from various antiquated
periods, and conveying nothing vital to the present
generation.
While it is certainly not desirable that the
commercial element should become paramount
in this one of the finest of the crafts, yet it is
legitimate that mechanical aid shall be given
just so far as the point where individual workman-
ship steps in. Recognizing this, the Gorham
Manufacturing Co. created in their great factory a
department for hand-work, which has resulted in
the development of some of the most beautiful
silverware ever manufactured at any period, and
possessing a quality of individual execution which
conveys invariably that expression of nervous
virility which must of necessity be absent from
purely mechanically made vessels. As a quaint
old mediaeval inscription runs : “ By hammer and
hand all arts do stand.” This is supremely appli-
cable to the craft of the silversmith ; and it is by
the use of the hammer and the equally important

the Crafts
chasing tool that the Gorham Manufacturing Co.
have developed their special style of silverware
aptly called “ Martele.” It appears in following
the traditions of this craft that decadence and
deterioration have ever advanced as soon as the
use of the hammer was forsaken in favor of the
chisel and other tools quite unsuited to the material.
As will be seen from the examples of the silverware
which we print, the Martele' style lends itself equally
well to a great variety of designs and purposes.
The simple grace of plain mouldings and curves
without further decoration can be produced with
all possible delicacy and meaning; elegance of
line, quaintness of shape or, where proper, profusion
of decoration can be accomplished, and the sense
of the individual impress of the worker’s brain is
never lost from each piece, though it may be con-
veyed only subconsciously to the beholder. It has
been well said that this beautiful Martel^ work is in
a sense the impressionistic rendering of design in
silver-work, for it is possible by means of it to subtly
suggest the decoration without the necessity of
accentuating its detail by a too exact minuteness.
We particularly welcome the excellent results of the
Gorham Manufacturing Co.’s Martele workshop
because the very living' spirit of craftsmanship is
illustrated thereby, inasmuch as vital expression can
be given to perfectly artistic workmanship, inspired
by ideas that are new and living instead of by those
which are merely' repetitive and stale.
In the furnishing of houses “the eternal fitness ”
is seldom more frequently offended than in the
matter of clocks. That bugbear of brides, “ the
marble time-piece,” last resource of the feeble-
minded purchaser of wedding presents, disgraces
many an apartment by its harsh discord with the
style of its surrounding furniture and accessories.
And in fact clock designs in general are apt to be
too pretentious and elaborate to fit in with the com-
fortably furnished homes which a more real appre-
ciation of beauty and truth is bringing into vogue.
The Willard Clock Co. has taken a step in the
right direction in opening up a craftsmen’s shop
for turning out solidly constructed and tastefully
designed handmade clocks. Their workmen are,
it is evident, trained hands,—who have intelligent
heads to boot; and the material used, whether it be
the metal for the dials, the wood for the cases, or
the pins for putting the latter together, is care-
fully selected and of the best quality. Nor is this
handmade work an excuse for freakishness of any
kind; all is subdued and sane, and an effort to
seturn to the more painstaking methods of a less


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