Have a Workshop in Oxford
From a C.H. Reporter
IN an eleventh century timbered
house opposite the square-towered Saxon church of St. Michael, at Oxford, a workshop of sacred art has been opened which has the promise of one day being an important liturgical centre for the whole country.
Its beginnings arc humble. The workshop itself is small though well lighted. It is packed with the materials of the owner's activities. One window looks out on the commercial eye-sores of Cornmarket Street ; the other on to the quiet by-way of Ship Street. This room at present must also serve a showroomfor exhibitions.
When I called on Miss Joan Morris, S.P., the editor of Art Notes, who runs the workshop, she told me of a few of her vicissitudes in moving from her " blitzed " quarters in Liverpool to Oxford.
HOUSE DECORATORS The Oxford house was in complete disrepair when she took over the first and second floors. The foundations, she tells me, are still propped up by the trunk of a tree, but as the place has stood since the eleventh century there seems ra reasonable hope of its endurance. With the help of two buys, evacuated from Bow, Miss Morris cleaned, plastered and painted the place in less than three weeks.
Dark wooden beams hold up the ceilings and walls, and pale green, terra cotta and cement-coloured washes have been used to throw up the wood in dark contrast.
Above the workshop is a tiny oratory where Vespers arc sung daily by a group of the Society of the Magnificat.
liand-printing, modelling, painting, linocutting, are some of the activities of this little workshop which are all carried on at St. Michael's. While I was there Miss Morris was hand-printing from lino-blocks, hangings for the altars of troops' camp chapels. These were most effective.
All the workshop's activities are described in the current number (a double Christmas one) of Art Notec. Besides exhibitions, lectures are being arranged there on liturgical art subjects, and orders for all forms of church decoration are carried out. Prayerbook cards, prints and Christmas cards are available too, as well as all liturgical publications.
Si. Michael's Workshop is a brave experiment which deserves to prosper.