Studio: international art — 6.1896

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Leather Work



(It is hard to keep to dispassionate state-
ments of fact when discussing the craft of
incised and embossed leather. First, because it
is one which, falling well within the range of
things an amateur may achieve successfully, is also
quite open to as much art as may be brought to
bear upon it; and, secondly, because it is not, like
too many home industries, an excuse for pro-
ducing merely superfluous ornaments. Simply or
elaborately decorated, according to the skill of
the worker, it may be made, in either instance,
admirably artistic, and become ultimately an
integral portion of the permanent binding of a
book, a card-case, or some other really useful

Again, it is a craft peculiarly fitted for amateurs,
since it is neither noisy nor demands much
muscular exertion. Its working does not imply an
untidy litter, requiring it to be pursued in lumber-
rooms or outhouses ; its materials are not costly,
and, given obedience to a very simple technique,
it allows full scope to the designer to carry out his,
or her, own ideas.

Some time ago The Studio illustrated many

broad surfaces and simple mouldings, gives addi-
tional value to the decoration in colour and gilding
over the central cupboard. The couch is covered
with dainty chintz, and the whole scheme of colour
is high-pitched and brilliant.

The photograph of a drawing-room fireplace is
somewhat lower in tone and richer in colour. The
woodwork is stained green, and the mouldings are
enriched with gilding and quiet blues and reds.
In the bedroom mantelpiece white woodwork is
relieved by hammered copper and blue and white
tiles, and in the general treatment a dainty and
delicate character has been aimed at.

The fireplace is capable of such infinite variety
of treatment, that this article cannot be concluded
without some expression of the author's sense of
the inadequacy of the illustrations in presenting a
comprehensive view of the subject.

It will be enough if they convey some idea of
that feeling of homely simplicity which has been
insisted on throughout.

Good taste may be made evident in the simplest
cottage as in the most luxurious palace ; moreover,
it is generally economical in the long run.

M. H. B. Scott.


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