Arts and crafts movement

He was born on 16 November 1839 into an intellectual family. William's father, Augustus De Morgan was the first professor of Mathematics at the newly founded University College London. His wife, Sofia Elizabeth Frend, campaigned alongside Elizabeth Fry in the early 19th century to promote prison reform and held strong views on religious liberty and women's suffrage.

At the age of twenty he entered the Royal Academy schools, but he was swiftly disillusioned with the establishment; then he met Morris, and through him the Pre-Raphaelite circle.De Morgan intented to follow the arts, and painted two or three pictures in early live, but like other his friends , soon gave up painting and followed the bent of an artistic invention, thus unforced, simply and naturally settled down in the groove apparently destined. Soon De Morgan began experimenting with stained glass, ventured into pottery in 1863, and by 1872 had shifted his interest wholly to ceramics.De Morgan was particularly drawn to Eastern tiles. Around 1873/74 he made a striking breakthrough by rediscovering the technique of lustre ware (characterized by a reflective, metallic surface) found in Hispano-Moresque pottery and Italian majolica. Nor was his interest in the East limited to glazing techniques, but it permeated his notions of design and color, as well. As early as 1875, he began to work in earnest with a 'Persian' palette: dark blue, turquoise, manganese purple, green, Indian red, and lemon yellow, Study of the motifs of what he refer to as 'Persian' ware (and we know today as fifteenth-and-sixteenth century Isnik ware), profoundly influenced his unmistakeable style, in which fantastic creatures eatwined with rhythmic geometric motifs float under luminous glazes.

In Frotzroy Square he was working at stained glass, and being dissatisfied with reproduction of his design, setup a little kiln in which he made a little experiments with metal. The experiments in glass gradually led to others tending to the production of lustre pottery. His thoughts were than turned in that direction, so the work was founded.

De Morgan was particularly drawn to Eastern tiles. Around 1873/74 he made a striking breakthrough by rediscovering the technique of lustre ware (characterized by a reflective, metallic surface) found in Hispano-Moresque pottery and Italian majolica. Nor was his interest in the East limited to glazing techniques, but it permeated his notions of design and color, as well. As early as 1875, he began to work in earnest with a 'Persian' palette: dark blue, turquoise, manganese purple, green, Indian red, and lemon yellow, Study of the motifs of what he refer to as 'Persian' ware (and we know today as fifteenth-and-sixteenth century Isnik ware), profoundly influenced his unmistakeable style, in which fantastic creatures eatwined with rhythmic geometric motifs float under luminous glazes.

De Morgan succeeded beautifully in part because he invented a technique of pattern transfer. Commercial tile manufacturers usually relied on some form of printed transfer sheets - all exactly the same to guarantee uniformity. De Morgan, rejecting this stultifying repetition, experimented until he found a means of duplicating a pattern while maintaining the individuality of each tile. Unfortunately, no plan or drawing has survived to give some clue as to how he pieced together this complex jig-saw puzzle, for without such a record his expertise still baffles even skilled observers.

By 1900 his designs were two generations old and considered a little old fashioned. De Morgan, alongside his partner, the architect Halsey Ricardo, continued work until 1907 but with dwindling success and ill health, he spent much of the year in Florence, Italy with his wife. His work, although highly prized by the avant garde of the day, had never provided a large income for De Morgan. His greatest success was as a novelist. He only began writing when he was 65 but his five bestsellers ensured a financially secure old age for him and his wife.

William de Morgan's tile designs were diverse; medieval, figural, scenic, and art nouveau. Collections exist in many museums, including the Victoria and Albert Museum and the William Morris Gallery in London, a substantial and representative collection in Birmingham, and a small but well-chosen collection along with much other pottery at Norwich.The De Morgan Centre' in south west London is a permanent home for work by William De Morgan, the Victorian ceramic artist and his wife Evelyn, the painter. The collection was formed by Mrs Wilhelmina Stirling, Evelyn's sister.

William de Morgan was visibly greatly talented person and everything what he touch become gold. I like his tile which are amazing colourfull pieces. They are greatly stylized with higher quality.

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