Bernard Brocklehurst 1904-1996 (Click here for more detail) Member of the Guild from 1927 - 1940 - Weaver. Bernard Brocklehurst was a silk weaver and vestment maker, born 1 December 1904, and son of George and Clare Brocklehurst who were hosiery manufacturers of Hinckley, Leicestershire. During the 1920s he stayed frequently with the Pepler family in Ditchling, Sussex. Hilary Pepler and Eric Gill were co-founders of the Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic, a group of Catholic craftsman dedicated to the Church through their work. In 1927 Brocklehurst joined this Guild, became apprenticed to J V D KilBride (1897¬1982), silk weaver, dyer and vestment maker, who was occupying Gill's old workshop at the Guild. Brocklehurst married Monica McHardy in 1930 and remained a member of the Guild until its demise in 1989. Their work in those days was varied, in the 1932 piece-book there were tweeds for local sale, hair-shirt material for various convents and monasteries and silk for vestments. At that time no other weaver produced the type of cloth or traditional shapes of vestment that were being made at the KilBride-Brocklehurst workshop. Brocklehurst's attention to detail and meticulous calculation and blending o yarn counts produced a cloth of outstanding beauty and durability. Hi vestments made in 1930 are as good and wearable today as when first woven. Restrictions on the purchase of silk meant a break in production during the war years, Brocklehurst returned to Hinckley and later became a weaver to the Benedictines (in Shropshire and Gloucestershire) and eventually established his own workshop in Wales near the Dominicans at Llanarth. He retired in 1968, but remained an inspiration and adviser to the generations of weavers that followed, his son Paul (also a weaver in Wiltshire) and to the KilBride workshop that moved close to his home in the 1980s. He died on 14 September 1996.
Father Desmond Macready Chute 1895-1957 (Click here for more detail) English artist, who became a Catholic priest in 1927. He was born in Bristol, where his father James Macready Chute ran the family theatre. He was educated at Downside School, and the Slade Art School in London. He was an intimate and influential friend of Stanley Spencer, from 1915. From 1918 became a close colleague and assistant of Eric Gill and was involved with The Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic publishing poetry in The Game, the community's magazine. He became also a convinced distributist and follower of Vincent McNabb, to whom he and Eric Gill were introduced in 1914 by influential friends Marc-Andre Raffalovich and John Gray. He started in 1921 to study for the priesthood, in Fribourg. Later he moved for his health to Rapallo, where he was a friend of Ezra Pound, and one of the Tigullian Circle clique around him. He tutored Mary de Rachewiltz, Pound's daughter with Olga Rudge. In 1944, he was interned by the Germans in the monastery at Bobbio, Genoa and had to walk back home across the mountains. Artist and wood engraver who first came to Ditchling in 1918.Ewan Clayton 1956 - Calligrapher Ewan is the grandson of Valentine KilBride and was the last member to join the Guild in 1982. He teaches calligraphy in this country and abroad and is Research Professor in the Department of Art at the University of Sunderland. He has curated several exhibitions at Ditchling Museum about calligraphy and typography as well as exhibitions on David Jones and Edward Johnston.
Joseph Cribb 1892-1967(Click here for more detail) (Herbert) Joseph Cribb was born in Hammersmith in 1892, and became Eric Gill's assistant at the age of 14. The following year he started an official five year apprenticeship with Gill. He became a well-known sculptor, in his own right, after Gill left Ditchling for Wales in 1924. Joseph is best known for his many church sculptures in the South East, including the carving the 14 Stations of the Cross at St Matthew's, Westminster. When Eric Gill moved to Ditchling in 1907, Joseph went with him as his apprentice. Later they worked together at The Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic on Ditchling Common. Cribb lived for some time in "The Hovel", a small cottage that was part of Pollards Farm on Ditchling Common. When Gill left the Guild in 1924, Cribb took over the stone carver's workshop and continued working there until his death. Cribb's brother Lawrence went with Gill to Wales and then to Buckinghamshire as his primary assistant. Cribb and Gill continued to work together, for example on the monumental sculpture 'Mankind' that is now in the Tate. Cribb was a sculptor of Commonwealth war graves, which Gill's brother (Max Gill) had drawn up, prior to their being copied by French artists and machines, making over 50 originals for the many regimental badges represented. Though Cribb died in 1967, the Guild itself survived until 1989
Kenneth Eager(Click here for more detail) Stonecutter and member the Guild 1950?-1988, Joined as apprentice to Cribb in 1945, eventually taking over the stonecutter's workshop which he ran until the end in 1989
Philip Hagreen 1890-1988(Click here for more detail) Wood-engraver Hagreen was a leading force in the foundation of the Society of Wood-Engravers in 1920 and joined the Guild in 1922. Hagreen continued the tradition established by Johnston and Gill of simplicity and clarity in lettering with his many engraved bookplate designs. Along with fellow Guild member George Maxwell he was a supporter of Distributism, a movement encouraging individual land-ownership in self-supporting rural communities.
Edgar Holloway 1914-2008 (Click here for more detail) Edgar Holloway: painter-etcherEdgar Holloway was a key figure of the Etching Revival of the 1920s and 1930s, an extraordinary period in the history of British printmaking. His etchings and drawings provide a visual autobiography of his long career, his family and friends and his travels around Britain, Europe and the US. He is best remembered for his striking series of self-portraits. With the conviction of Rembrandt, the first visual diarist to record his life through the medium of etching, Holloway made more etched self-portraits over a sustained period of time than any other British artist: 33 between 1931 and 2002. Born in Doncaster in 1914, Holloway was a child prodigy with scant formal tuition in art. His father, a Yorkshire miner-turned-print-seller, recognised his talents and, through art, foresaw a better way of life for his son. With letters of introduction to Campbell Dodgson, Keeper of the Print Room at the British Museum, and to the artist Muirhead Bone, the family moved to London in June 1931. Winning the approval of both Dodgson and Bone, young Edgar attracted the attention of many who were in a position to create opportunities for young artists: Martin Hardie at the Victora and Albert Museum; the print historian Malcolm Salaman; and the artists James McBey, who bought Holloway’s prints, Ernest Lumsden, who invited him to join the Society of Artist Printers, Joseph Webb, in whose Harrow studio he would exchange views on art and techniques, and William Wilson, the travel companion with whom he shared a cottage in Essex. By the age of 20 Holloway had staged two solo exhibitions in London, his work had been purchased by the British Museum and the V&A, among other leading collections, and his sitters for portraits included some of London’s literary elite. Holloway was 19 when he drew a portrait of T. S. Eliot seated at his director’s desk at Faber & Faber. He etched the likenesses of the poet and critic Stephen Spender, a regular visitor to the Faber offices, and the author and critic Herbert Read, drawn at his home in Hampstead. Through continuous study and self-analysis, Holloway made a series of sensitive and revealing self-portraits that were meant to reflect his inner self through the manipulation of outward appearance. Scrutinising himself in a mirror, he adopted various costumes, gestures and expressions to suggest aspects of his personality. Alongside portraiture he was equally committed to landscape. When he moved to London he saw first-hand the diversity of prints by young etchers, among them Graham Sutherland and Paul Drury, who, inspired by Samuel Palmer’s early drawings and late etchings, created scenes of an agrarian landscape that was fast disappearing. He explored rural Middlesex and Essex in search of similar subjects. In Eastcote (1932), Brookside (1932), Latton Priory (1936) and Bosses Farm (1936), he captured what was then threatened by suburbanisation and has now disappeared or changed beyond recognition. Holloway enjoyed success and critical acclaim early in his career, though he arrived too late to benefit from the opportunities of the “etching boom”, public taste had changed and the market for prints had collapsed during the Depression of the 1930s. Exempted from military service owing to periodic outbursts of psoriasis, he took up schoolteaching posts in London where at weekends he drew the blitzed city. In need of respite, he visited Capel-y-ffin on the Welsh borders where Eric Gill had lived and worked in the 1920s. On arrival, he was welcomed by one of Gill’s favourite models, Daisy Monica Hawkins. Six weeks later, in July 1943, they were married. Holloway continued to make occasional prints until 1947. While his turning to lettering and cartography had been prompted by the need to provide for his young family, it was also ideological. He had been introduced to Gill’s writings and converted to Roman Catholicism in 1941. Reading Gill’s books led him to doubt the value of his work as a fine artist. In 1948 he accepted an invitation from Philip Hagreen to join the Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic, a community of Catholic artists, founded on Ditchling Common, East Sussex, by Gill in 1918. For the next 20 years, Holloway was a graphic designer, undertaking commissions for leading publishers. In 1957, not foreseeing that he would ever again take up etching, he sold more than 150 of his early copper plates to a scrap-metal merchant. In 1969, however, he returned to painting and print-making, his interest in etching undiminished. Daisy Monica, whom he nursed through a long illness, died in September 1979. That year Garton & Co mounted an exhibition of his work in London. It was the first of many national retrospectives that toured Britain in the 1980s and 1990s, and the beginning of the rehabilitation of Holloway’s work. In turn, the revived interest in his early etching fuelled his desire to make new prints. In May 1984 Holloway was married to the artist Jennifer Boxall (née Squire), and they set up home and studio in Woodbarton, the first guild house, designed by Gill. Holloway remained a member of the guild and was its last chairman. In 1991, almost 60 years after his first unsuccessful application, at 18, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers. A Catalogue Raisonné of Etchings and Engravings by Edgar Holloway was published by Scolar Press in 1996. While remaining outside mainstream concerns in contemporary art, as a result of which his reputation fluctuated, Holloway was once more in demand later in life, rising on the tide of growing interest in printmaking of the interwar years. He was the last surviving artist of a generation that flourished during a unique period in the history of British printmaking. A link to the past, his portraits and anecdotes of a close circle of friends and contemporaries artists, writers, and curators are an important historical record of 20th-century British culture. Holloway’s wife, Jennifer, and three sons and the daughter of his first marriage survive him. Edgar Holloway, painter-etcher, was born on May 6, 1914.
David Jones 1895-1974 (Click here for more detail) Poet and painter came to Ditchling in 1921, taking refuge at the Guild after his experience in the trenches. Here he completed his first major painting "Madonna and Child" setting the figures in a downland landscape. The painting was given to Gill’s daughter Petra to whom David Jones was engaged. Although the engagement was subsequently broken off they remained friends and after Petra’s death the Museum acquired this and other works by Jones.Jenny KilBride 1948- Weaver & Dyer The daughter of Valentine KilBride, Jenny learnt her skills from her father and in 1974 became the first woman to join the Guild. Having grown up at the Guild she still lives in Ditchling and is the Chairman of the museum Trustees.
Valentine KilBride 1897-1982 (Click here for more detail) Weaver & Dyer Early in 1923, KilBride came to Ditchling as an assistant to Ethel Mairet. He moved his looms to the Common in 1925 and became a member of the Guild in 1926. The following year he was joined by Bernard Brocklehurst, initially as apprentice but soon as partner. They began to specialise in the production of silk vestments, and revived the gothic, draped style of chasuble in contrast to the stiff brocade garments then in common use.
George Maxwell 1870 - 1957 (Click here for more detail) Carpenter, loom-maker Maxwell joined the Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic in 1922. As well as furniture and fittings of all kinds, Maxwell also turned his hand to building, and erected a number of houses on nearby plots for family and friends of the Guild. He provided furniture for Catholic churches from large oak vestment chests to altar rails. After the Second World War, assisted by his son John, he was kept busy as a builder of looms.
Hilary Pepler 1878-1951 (Click here for more detail) Printer and the founder of the St Dominic’s Press which produced books, including hymn books and liturgies, pamphlets, posters, magazines, billheads and notepaper. Illustrations were provided as wood-cuts or engravings by Eric Gill, the painter David Jones and others. Pepler was also a puppeteer and mime artist, writing and producing his own plays.
Dunstan Pruden 1907-1974 (Click here for more detail) Dunstan Pruden, a silversmith, came to the Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic in Ditchling in 1932 and became a full member of the Guild two years later. His book 'Silversmithing' was printed by St Dominic's Press and became the foundation for his teaching career at Brighton Art College. He fulfilled hundreds of commission for ecclesiastical metalwork and in addition to working in silver he made carvings in ivory.
Winefride Pruden 1913-2008 (Click here for more detail) Silversmith Winefride was taught the art of silversmithing by her husband Dunstan and joined the Guild in 1975. She has lectured widely and was the art critic for the Catholic publication The Tablet. A former President of the Society of Catholic Artists she was made one of the first Papal Dames in 1994.
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