This is the first major study of the Newlyn Industrial Class, a small but very important part of the Arts and Crafts Movement in Victorian Britain. Established in Cornwall in 1890 with help from the Home Arts Industries Association and local artists, and teaching from John Pearson of the Guild of Handicraft, the Newlyn Class was started largely as a philanthropic gesture. Aimed at improving the quality of life for the young men of this small fishing village, it represented an almost unique partnership between artist and craftsman. The copperwork produced at Newlyn—now highly collectable—was in the fashionable 'artistic' style drawing on medieval imagery and honest construction 'by hammer and by hand'. Apart from the social benefits which the Class brought to the village, Newlyn copperwork has provided a heritage of useful and beautiful objects. The decoration of Newlyn work, with repousse designs of sea creatures, sea birds and scenes from the fishing village, shows the consistent influence of artist/designer John Mackenzie who gave the work of the Class its character and visual appeal. The quality of construction of the Newlyn copper pieces, its durability and the range of object and designs created by the craftsmen make the copperwork of Newlyn a joy for collectors.
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