QUILTS & FABRIC: PAST & PRESENT By Quilt Historian Barbara Brackman Above: Moda's Baltimore Blues

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Voysey Birds

Bird and Tulip
Morris Modernized: CFA Voysey

The Voysey Bird is hidden in the negative space in this print from my Moda reproduction collection.

Air Vent Cover

Charles F.A. Voysey was an architect who, like William Morris before him, believed that the whole house should show an integrated design. The above metal plate was one of his signature images. He covered the vents in his houses with this stylized bird and tree.

Birds & Berries
Morris Modernized: CFA Voysey

Birds often figured in his textile and wallpaper patterns.
He loved playing with  figure and the ground. Sometimes
the bird was the figure, as in the colorway above. 

Morris Modernized: CFA Voysey

Sometimes the birds are hidden in the background.
The birds hold up the flower above.

Voysey's birds are often interpreted as self-portraits.

A pearl and enameled brooch

Another self-portrait?

Morris Modernized: CFA Voysey

His birds frequently look like doves or pigeons.

They're often paired as
in love birds for this bookplate for
the Mortons.

A swallow?

Crows on this fireplace surround?

Voysey's bird designs offer many ideas for applique.
See another at the Victoria and Albert Museum's website:


Anonymous said...

Very interesting about Voysey's birds. My Mother would have been very distressed to have bird motifs in her house. She had the superstition that a bird in the house foretold a death.

Celia said...

I didn't mean to be anonymous. My name is Celia.

WoolenSails said...

I love how they used the bookplates are ideas for fabric designs. I use old fraktur books for design ideas.


Barbara Brackman said...

Celia---that is fascinating about your mother's superstition. I love bird imagery.Have several small bird carvings...And an occasional live
bird that gets on the back porch.