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

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Joyce Clissold

This study focuses on the work of Barron and Larcher and traces their work from first experiments with French blocks when Barron was a student, to some of the last orders received by Barron and Larcher in the early 1940s. In addition to looking at their textiles in detail, major commissions are highlighted and the role played by galleries and exhibitions in promoting their work is discussed.

Barron and Larcher's textiles are very English in feel, and quite distinct from the few other contemporary British hand-blockprinted textiles around, such as those of Alec Walker for Crysede or Joyce Clissold at Footprints, where designs are often on a smaller scale and generally busier and more colourful. (No. 1) Enid Marx (1902-1998) joined Barron and Larcher's studio in Hampstead in 1925 and worked with them for a year before setting up on her own. When the Crafts Study Centre was founded she gave the collection a representative selection of her lengths, samples and blocks from the late 1920s-30s (No. 2).

Susan Bosence (1913-1996) first met Barron and Larcher in 1951, having been inspired to start textile printing on seeing their work at Dartington Hall in Devon. She was involved with the Crafts Study Centre from its inception and, together with family and friends, donated and bequeathed not only a substantial collection of her hand-blockprinted textiles and resist-dyed cloths from the 1960s onwards, but also her sample book, blocks and papers (No. 3) She taught for many years at the art college in Farnham (now the Surrey Institute of Art & Design, University College) and there met Sally Greaves-Lord, Diana Harrison and Linda Brassington whose textiles are amongst the more recent acquisitions of the Crafts Study Centre. (No. 4, 5, 6)



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