Visiting Arts and Crafts at Roycroft

Email by E Steinebach on August 4, 2009
Categories Filed Under: NEWS, ROYCROFT

Visiting Arts and Crafts at Roycroft Image

Roycroft - An Arts and Crafts community Roycroft Campus

There was a time when I was a member of the William Morris Society. Being fresh out of high school, I was the youngest member. The reason I joined was because I wanted to know more about the man who created fantastic stained glass, amazing wallpaper and textile designs.

Every now and again, they did tours, primarily to places that the Arts and Crafts movement were involved with, sometimes churches, but also communities where Arts and Crafts were a way of life. So I was quite eager to visit Roycroft again. Situated in the little village of East Aurora, just a stones throw from Buffalo, it took maybe half and hour to drive there.

Elbert Hubbard met William Morris and was so inspired that he opened the Roycroft Campus in 1895. The vision was to create an artistic community where household items were handmade, beautiful in their own right and functional. So starting with a small printer for the printing of books, the community grew to include all manner of artisans – painters, sculptors, metal smiths, potters, leather workers, writers, among many more. There is a little brochure that out lines a self guided walking tour and gives details about each building. Though the community is not at as it was, the Shop has many beautiful handcrafted items for sale. Anyone into Arts and Crafts items for their home should check this place out. And for those do-it-yourself types, the campus still offers a wide range of classes.

It was as we were wandering the sites and chatting with the locals, were we told of the Tiffany windows in the local church. Well, like flies to honey, we had to go check this out. Sure enough, the Baker Memorial United Methodist Church on Main Street was full of Tiffany windows. The church was open , as a guest organist, practicing for a concert, filled the sanctuary with thundering reverberations that only a grand organ can produce. He didn't mind an audience with cameras taking a look at the windows. And so with a little scrutiny we found a signed window, though unfortunately my image is a bit blurred. The windows are quite lovely, with beautiful colors and all the familiar designs, however in the last afternoon light of our visiting day, I thought they were especially wonderful. Surprise surprise, go looking for something else and stained glass will still cross your path.