My Spoonflower Shop

My Spoonflower Shop
Newly opened!


Presses old and new.

As the sun shines on this glorious summer I have been sitting at my desk painting Christmas candy canes and St Nicholas himself, none of which I can show alas!

However, we found time to return to London and revisit Hammersmith, this time with camera and ticket to visit Emery Walker’s House, possibly the most well preserved Arts and Crafts House in Britain. Although there are no doubt grander houses, to step through the doors of No 7 Hammersmith Terrace is to enter the world not only of Emery Walker, William Morris, Rossetti and Cobden Sanderson but to enter a more domestic, feminine world that made this house into a home.

Emery Walker was a typographer, printer and mentor to William Morris; they met through their shared political ideals and became great friends. Emery helped in the establishment of The Kelmscott Press and was a partner in The Dove Press with Cobden-Sanderson. If you visit the house you will be taken back to the days when Emery was a married man with a young daughter Dorothy, who continued to live in the house for the rest of her life. When Dorothy grew older she had a young Dutch companion who also remained there until her death, thus ensuring the continuity of both the house and its contents. You get a real sense of homeliness here, not only are there original Arts and Crafts furnishings, wallpapers etc but also paintings, prints, books and all the paraphernalia of life - an eclectic mix of possessions which make this a home rather than a museum.

You can wander through the garden which fronts the river Thames and get a glimpse of Hammersmith Bridge where Cobden-Sanderson was believed to have stood before he threw the entire type from the Dove Press into the water below after a bitter dispute with Emery. I wonder if it is still there in the muddy depths and what ghostly tales it could tell?

After taking some refreshment at The Black Lion, we continued our walk to Kelsmcott House where we saw some prints being made on William’s lovely old Albion Press. I came home with some purchased for the bargain price of £1 each!

And now for my news; goodness knows what William would have made of our modern world but, the first of my picture books has been made digital and is in the app store now. You can see it here- “White is the Moon” (Auryn Inc) has moved into a new millennium complete with sounds and words, which appear when you touch different parts of the illustrations. For example, if you touch the moon, the written word appears and a voice says “Moon”, how exciting is that? William must be turning in his grave! I hope not.


Rowan said...

At some point I want to visit Kelmscott House and Emery Walker's house, I've been to Kelmscott Manor and loved it there but somehow I've never managed to get to Hammersmith.

Tammie Lee said...

perhaps someday, you can show us your Christmas art, i would love to see it. so glad you got away to enjoy.

Clare Wassermann said...

I lived in Hammersmith for a while a never knew about that house. Thank you for the enlightenment!

Jules Woolford said...

What an interesting visit. I was fascinated to read his second home was Daneway, Cirencester, just down the road from where I used to live and really well known to me - I'd no idea!

Frances said...

Valerie, congratulations to you on the newest form of publishing. It is rather wonderful to think about the new audiences that will get to appreciate you book!

Thank you for the reporting on your recent visit to Hammersmith. I would love to visit both of those houses myself, and am making a note of them ... in a new little notebook I am dedicating to collecting info and places to visit on my upcoming trip.


Frances said...
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The Weaver of Grass said...

That house looks so interesting Valerie. Before I came to live up here I lived close to Whitwick Manor on the edge of Wolverhampton. These old houses which have been preserved intact give us such a glimpse into the past.

Your book is amazing - technology has left me standing.

Hermes said...

Its worth mentioning that just up the road is William Morris's house where they still give demos of the Kelmscott press machine. May Morris lived two doors away from Emry's house. The William Morris linoleum is the only example still in situ at the Emrys house.

Cotton and Roses said...

I don't know why I haven't heard of Emery Walker. I have read the information on the house website; there is a link to Cheltenham's museum and art gallery which re-opens in October. It has an Emery Walker room which I shall definitely be visiting. Thanks for the introduction.

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

I would love to visit Emery Walkers house, and I think you would love to visit Blackwell in the Lake District

Jeri Landers said...

What an exciting concept for the book! I would love to see how that all works out for you. I love traditional publishing but realize that we sometimes need to change with the times (or at least at to our repertoire.)

Elizabeth Wix said...

My grandchildren love "Whte is the Moon" so this is thrilling news.
I have never visited the Hammersmith house and would love to.
All best wishes from New York.

Kerry O'Gorman said...

Very cool! I would probably spend hours in a house of this sort and you may even find me diving into the Thames to find that treasure.
We discoverd a beautiful letterpress company in a small town in B.C on our way home. You should have a look at their site. They've worked hard to preserve this craft and the work they do is amazing. Clawhammer Letterpress. I believe they're on etsy as well.
And congrats on your book!