It is with warm gratitude that I welcome you to the October 1902 edition of The House magazine. This edition comes close on the heels of our September Edition of The House magazine. There are our regular features as well as new features on crafting and home decoration. I very much enjoy reading these articles along with you. Each page feels like a discovery of new aspects of the arts and crafts movement. This period in the United Kingdom was bursting at the seams with creativity and discovery. I find the words leap off my iPad screen and help me imagine using my fingers and hands to feel the patches of leather, carving a wooden tea base, or designing my very own appliqué. There are many times where I need to break out and search for crafts that I just wasn't aware of before. It is a misconception to believe that one needs to actually do these activities. I cannot imagine going down to the local apothecary and purchasing a range of chemicals to create my own photographic plate developer solution. This misses the point. It is the emotional growth that comes from reading other experiences with being creative and not afraid of just simply making a mess that drives my enthusiasm.
This emotional engagement of our articles illustrates the joy of reading a magazine. It brings up of the question of defining a magazine and how is this different from reading a bundle of texts found with a search engine. The answer can be discovered by browsing through the pages of the magazine and seeing how it is a conversation. Today's conversations are loud sound-bite statements sometimes intentionally written to invoke any response, positive of negative. The quality of conversation on social media is only measured by the number of people inflamed enough to "smash subscribe," "hit that like button," or "drop a comment below". Just look at the embedded violent vocabulary in the language used on social media. I am mortified at the thought of a stranger hitting my favourite antique tea cup that my grandmother used to drink her daily pick-me-up from. The House magazine is a curated affair.
These pages are the finest conversation from the Victorian era around home arts and crafts, social activities, and home comfort. Every time I read an article here, I walk away with a feeling a peace and contentment with the world. There is beauty everywhere, especially at the tip of our creative fingers. Let us not forget that this is why we read magazines. It is a pleasure to sit back in a comfy soft chair under the warm glow of a soft reading lamp and go on a journey that have inspired others to create. Without exerting more effort than that, you will likely discover, as I have, new moments to create and add beauty in life.
I see my role as the re-editor to bring these pages back to life. This website could have just scanned copies of the original pages and posted them as PDF files. How does this feel for the reader? I find reading PDF files difficult to read on my mobile at the best of times. The original pages we are working from are in a poor state and are challenging to read on a dedicated 4K monitor. There is no emotional engagement in this approach. I have re-imagined the magazine to be readable on modern devices, that scale up and down as you flip your device. Special attention is being paid to the images, be they sketches or photographs, to be informative and engaging. The words on these pages are nothing without that pleasurable moment to pause and reflect on a hand-drawn picture.
The reality of modern journalism is that content needs to stay fresh. My passion is in enjoying what has already been and what we can still create. Google's current search engine guidelines dictates that website content to be refreshed and more engaging than other content. Again, there is a battle of survival of the fittest. Readers are tiring of this constant battle for click-bait. Our pages are an alternative. I want your experience to be filled with creativity and happiness. To this end I do finely re-craft the words, emphasise the drawings and make sure that each page stands on its own merit. Rest assured that you are still reading the material as it was intended back in the day. These pages are written for you as a reader.
I do have my favourite articles. I find the designs demonstrated by students of the Macclesfield Embroidery School to be beautiful. I cannot help but want to pull out a HB clutch pencil and attempt to imitate the elegant floral patterns that define this period. The feature designs on the electric chandeliers has me looking up at my own living room ceiling and wondering how my house became so plain. It is a minor shame that the sketches do not come with more description from the period. I'd like to know more about this style of metalwork crafting. Finally, the must read article that engaged my senses is the continuing story of William Morris. I do not want to give away too many details on this page but there are some excellent quotes about William Morris' views on home living and furnishings. I will, however, leave it up to you to discover your favourite article. Please enjoy!
Re-editor in Chief
William Morris on
architecture & textiles
Victoria Era Oak