The Oakleaf pattern caught my eye in that it is a contemporary rendering done in a very traditional manner. Its simplicity and monochromatic colorway all speak to the modern, while the vining, intertwining nature, and density of design all speak of master designers from long ago. I like seeing ideas of the past reflected in current designs. Even the handmade nature of the linoleum block-printing hark back to the Arts and Crafts period happening in the late-19th to early-20th centuries.

Oakleaf was designed and printed by Marthe Armitage in Chiswick, England and is from her 2004 production. This design was printed by linoleum block on a manual offset lithographic printing press. Marthe's papers are available through Hamilton-Weston on a very limited basis. The intertwining aspect of this design along with its fluid nature show a knowledge of William Morris, while its lack of depth seems to reference the teachings of A.W.N. Pugin, and the artistic nature of Edward Bawdin, another artist who preferred working with linoleum blocks. Marthe attended the Chelsea School of Art in the 1940s and was Master of the Art Workers' Guild in 1993. The Art Workers' Guild is a society of artists, craftsmen and designers founded in the 1890s, whose past Masters have included Walter Crane, William Morris and CFA Voysey.

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