One of the most wonderful things about a trip to Ditchling is to see original works by the artisans who lived and worked as a community in this south-east English village in the early 20th century. Also I like to go there to pay my respects to those who went before us. Not only calligraphers and letter designers and carvers but print-makers, letterpress craftsmen, weavers and designers of all traditions. We learn something from them all.
One work stood out most of all for me on this day. The painting David Jones created for Petra Gill (daughter of Eric Gill) to whom he was engaged. The engagement was short-lived and they didn't marry but this painting though iconic is full of love, you can see it in the work. The Madonna & Child. It is not often you see the Madonna kissing her child and completely embracing him in her arms as lovingly as this.
Beautiful isn't it ... and what is interesting is my reaction to both this painting and the marble sculpture in the Waterperry Chapel yesterday, another mother and child.
Even the lawn rollers were not safe from the carver's chisel. "Come all you false young men do not leave me here to complain." from a song called the Seeds of Thyme. The next line is: for the grass that has been often times been trampled under foot.
How perfectly apt.
Edward Johnston 1872 - 1944 & Greta Johnston 1872 - 1936
It is easy to remember Johnston's birth and death date because he died aged 72, born in 1872 so death date must be 1944. I know a lot of trivia but it works for me.
This is their foot-stone and it is engraved EJ + GJ
A must see on every maker's list of places to visit!
This roll of text by Ewan Clayton offering grateful thanks to supporters of the Museum, greeted Tina and I on our entry.
Ewan Clayton (detail)
... is housed in a place called ...
The Barn where you will find original works by Edward Johnston, Thomas Ingmire, John Nash, John Woodcock, Patricia Gidney and Gerald Fleuss (and more). Gerry very kindly showed my host Tina Warren, and I through The Barn and some of the special works held there. This was a lovely surprise I wasn't expecting.
Thank you both!