Paul Nash

Paul Nash (1889-1946). His earliest textile designs date from around 1920 when he was already famous as a painter. Cherry Orchard suggets that Nash had not forgotten the textiles of the Omega Workshops with which he had been associated in 1913. Nash designs show his experience of abstracting motifs from nature and transforming them into repeating patterns. This design was one of several of his to be hand block printed both for dress and furnishing use, by the Footprints Workshop set up by Mrs Eric Kennington in the 1920's. Footprints specialised in block printing fabrics and had two London shops at fashionable addresses in Bond Street and in Knightsbridge through until the 1950's. They printed this design in 1925. Nash became dissatisfied with the quality of the printing and his designs were later contracted out to the trade printers G P & J Baker. In 1929 Tom Heron launched Cresta Silks in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, approaching young artists to design fabrics for his new enterprise. Nash was the first to be approached and being a perfectionist he welcomed Heron's high standards. The printers were expected to exactly match the artists' designs. Cherry Orchard took six months of paintstaking colour trials before it went into production. * Nash had definate ideas about the role of the artist in society and wanted art to be readily available through design. He was clearly a demanding artist and objected to Cresta Silks advertisements stating that there were designers like Paul Nashon the grounds that there were no designers like himself and he insisted that customers in Cresta shops should always be told when they were looking at a Paul Nash design. Nash encouraged Miss Elspeth A Little's venture Modern Textiles, a shop in Beauchamp Place, which sold high quality crafts including fabrics. Nash designed a signbord and a letter-heading engraved on wood for her. He also designed upholstery fabric for London Transport and furnishings for Old Bleach Linen Co. Also a graphic artist and designer of glass and china, he taught at the Royal College of Art Design School. *King, Brenda Modern Art in Textile Design see ill 3, p 4. King, Brenda Cresta Silks Ltd article in The Textile Society newsletter Vol 15, Spring 1991 p 4. Powers, Alan Modern Block Printed Textiles p 44 and end papers. The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester has a sample of this silk. WINIFRED M GILL (1891-1981) was born in Guildford, Surrey. She came from a Quaker family, like the Fry's . She worked as a secretary to Joan Fry, Roger's sister at Durbins, Fry's home from 1910-13 and studied part-time at the Slade School during 1910. She worked for the Omega Workshops 1913-16 when in December 1913 an exhibition of recent work was held at Fitzroy Square and a nursery and model bedroom shown, the nursery ceiling painted by Winifred. She is also noted for making artificial flowers with Vanessa Bell. Later in 1917 she made marionettes for a performance of War and Peace and the Omega Club. Again for a brief period, when all the men were called up, she served as the business manager there until early 1917 when she left because she could no longer support herself on the salary. She wrote twelve letters to Duncan Grant during 1966 in which she puts down her reminiscences of the Omega. See: The Omega Workshops 1913-19. Decorative Arts of Bloomsbury. Crafts Council Gallery 1984. p 26 See: Anscombe, Isabelle Omega and after photo 12. A very rare piece.


Cherry Orchard triangular scarf, hand blocked silk crepe-de-Chine, designed by Paul Nash for Cresta Silks, and hand block-printed by G P & J Baker, belonging to Winifred M Gill , the cream ground printed with semi circular lines in grey with yellow V's and red andgrey spots, pale blue foliage, the scarf is labelled with a name tape Winifred M Gill


Very good. This was probably a square which was later cut. Two edges are rolled and the long edge is turned under and very neatly sewn. The name tag is sewn to this edge.


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