Learning Index >> Hand-blockprinted Textiles: Phyllis Barron and Dorothy Larcher

Biography >> London Workshops
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Initially Dorothy Larcher joined Barron to work in a basement studio at 39 Haverstock Hill, Hampstead. This was in the house that Barron then shared with Bernard and Noel Adeney. Frances Woollard, who had first exhibited hand-blockprinted textiles with Barron at the Red Rose Guild in Manchester in 1922, was also working there. However, it proved too cramped for three so they moved nearby to a rather damp studio in a conservatory belonging to the health food shop in Hampstead High Street. In 1923 Barron and Frances Woollard had a final quarrel, and soon afterwards Barron and Larcher moved to 2 Parkhill Studios. (No. 1)

Barron and Larcher's workshop was within 'an enormously high mid-Victorian house in Park Hill Road, Hampstead, the most hideous studios in the world...But...quite convenient because [they] had a flat almost next door, and there was a garden all round with plenty of room for hoses'.{6} As orders from private clients increased more assistance was needed, so they took on two girl school leavers to help with the work load. (No. 2, 3)

In 1925 Enid Marx, who had just left the Royal College of Art, joined the workshop for a year. Many years later she was to recall some of the arduous tasks involved in production at the time: '...dye mixing, dyeing and all the preparations for this such as mordanting and even in some instances collecting the dyestuffs, walnut husks for example; steaming and washing, an onerous job before the washing machine, when everything had to be washed and rinsed a number of times by hand, much of it hosed down out of doors. Then there was ironing galore...'{7} Enid Marx had a natural flair for pattern designing and went on to set up her own workshop, where she continued to produce hand-blockprinted textiles throughout the 1930s. (No. 4, 5, 6)



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