I have a friend whose interests run to dogs and the history of the First World War—not architecture. One day she sat in my office thumbing through a stack of bungalow books. “What is this called?” she asked me. “I love it!” Who doesn’t love Arts & Crafts? Who doesn’t love wood, motifs taken from nature, an earthy palette, and organic, quiet rooms that promise serenity?
The Arts & Crafts Revival is about 45 years old—more enduring that the original American movement of the early 20th century. Contemporary artists and craftspeople are producing work equal to and often better than that of a hundred years ago. It’s impossible not to appreciate the beauty and quality of their textiles, their pottery and tile, their work in metal and glass and wood. In common with the original movement, today’s artisans consider the peculiarities of place, use discernment, marry design to craft, and often work cooperatively with other artists and tradespeople. Their clients are looking not for what is trendy or for the cheapest option, but rather for a connection to the maker.
But today’s Arts & Crafts sensibility reaches past reproductions and even interpretive work. It has spread beyond the cognoscenti, beyond those who know the history of the movement. Arts & Crafts tenets have been embraced widely. These include an understanding of the local and vernacular, an appreciation of traditional skills, sustainable practices, and a preference for “fewer, better things.” In architecture and interior design, this wave of Arts & Crafts is producing stunning, livable new houses.
Enjoy this special issue dedicated to the output of today’s revival—individuals and companies we’ve come to know through their commitment to a deliberate Arts & Crafts approach. Many were recommended over the years by our readers. Alas, we could have filled twice as many pages! Find more at artsandcraftshomes.com, in various article posts and in the Products & Services section.
10 Harbor Rd., Gloucester, MA 01930