Saturday, June 18, 2011

Als Ik Kan.

Three simple words. Three simple words that would be nice to see more people hold true. Basically translating to "If I can, all I can". Adapted in the middle ages, when craftsman would use a device or legend that would he would display on every piece of his work to identify that the piece was genuinely his. Kind of like a modern trademark. the "Als ich kanne" motto was originally used by a 14th century Flemish painter Ian Eyck to identify his work. Several hundred years later William Morris used the term but in french, "Si je puis", to identify his products. Morris as you may or may not know was a very important figure in English arts and crafts movement. The Morris Chair of American arts and crafts fame gets its name from his company, that was the original producer of such chairs in the 1860's. Gustav Stickley is the founder of the American arts and crafts movement. He took many key pieces from the english movement and made them his own. As such he adopted the motto, in modern Flemish (dutch) "als ik kan" along with the joiners compass and his signature to identify his work. The American arts and crafts style and its school of though was to incorporated your own handmade or locally handcrafted wood, glass, and metal work creating objects that are/were both simple and elegant for the home. These Items were to be carefully made to uphold the highest quality avalible. Quite an idea to press for in today's worlds of Ikea and Wally's world.

1 comment:

  1. nice wee history of craftsmanship post...and looks like DY has a few fine quality goods of its own to be proud of, looking forward to seeing what's in store down the road!
    great blog too, enjoying a good read throughout, especially nice to connect with canuck stuff, cheers.