Left: Curtain fabric with diamond pattern Enid Marx 1902-1998 brown block printed undyed linen, with blue cotton lining, date unknown. Right: Enid Marx working at her drawing board inder Judge.
Marx. Photograph id
The Estate of En ire.©
Ve rney, Wa rw ton
Comp inherent in the printing process were a vital element in the designs.
Although Peggy Angus died in 1993, she provides a direct link to the present through her former employees, several of whom subsequently produced wallpaper in the same idiosyncratic way. Hugh Dunford Wood, who was one of her “slaves” during the 1970s, affectionately describes Angus as his fairy godmother. Classically trained at the Ruskin School of Painting in Oxford, his early encounter with Angus fuelled his passion for the applied arts. “I call myself a painter and a decorator because from an early age I’ve always decorated things as well as made paintings and illustrations,” he explains. “Peggy Angus said art for life was the thing and art is decoration, embellishing life around you. That’s very much been my philosophy.” It was only after moving down to Lyme Regis a decade or so ago, however, that Dunford Wood decided to produce his wallpapers commercially, prompted by the enthusiastic response of prospective buyers to the patterns on the walls of his previous home in Oxfordshire. “They wanted to buy the blocks!” he exclaims. “They made me realize that wallpaper was in fashion because for years my environment has always been too much for people, too decorated.”
The beauty of Peggy Angus’s technique is its simplicity, making it ideal as a cottage industry. No expensive equipment is required and lino is much softer to carve than wood. Household paint is simply brushed on the surface of the block, which is then pressed onto rolls of paper. “Because the brush strokes are irregular and because the pressure is irregular, it creates irregularities all over,” notes Dunford Wood, highlighting the fact that these 4
Des ton righ ity of B
ivers ive, Un il Arch