William Morris was a British artist, poet, novelist and ardent socialist, as well as as the 19th century's most celebrated textile designer, who created some of the most recognisable textile patterns of the century. He was also a radical in both his art and politics, refusing to follow the consensus.
Disillusioned by the Victorian era's focus on dehumanising industrial systems that produced poor-quality, 'unnatural' objects, Morris championed a principle of handmade production, establishing the British Arts and Crafts Movement. Aware of the deep divisions in contemporary society, he declared himself a socialist, and in 1884 he helped set up a new group called the Socialist League, making frequent street-corner speeches and using his fame and artwork to further these objectives.
This tea cosy is a perfect marriage of Morris's two passions: art and activism. The design is inspired by his 'Cherwell' design, named after a river whose attendant foliage had fascinated him and the quote comes from his surviving correspondence.
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‘I want a real revolution, a real change in society.’