CFA Voysey ~ Introduction

Arts and Crafts Movement architect designer Charles Francis Annerley CFA Voysey

Of the generation after Wm. Morris, C.F.A. Voysey was arguably the best designer / architect, and possibly the most influential. His best work spans the 20 years from 1894-1914.

Voysey was the consumate all-round designer, designing everything from a door knob to country houses, including wide ranges of metalwork, furniture, wallpaper, carpets etc. His work displays great clarity of line & unity of design, whatever the medium.

Voysey's work is still very under-rated, and he is often over-shadowed by his contemporary, C.R. Mackintosh. However, Voysey's work is very easy to live with, and has a sublime understated elegance to it, very suited to our modern lifestyles.

Today, when we see Voysey furniture it is dark brown in colour, what we think Arts and Crafts furniture should look like. But this is the result of polishing in past years and time itself.

However, Voysey specified that his oak furniture be left natural, whence it would age slowly and naturally. It is only since we have started reproducing much of his work that it has become apparent just how striking and elegant his work must have been originally, and why it still looks contemporary.

What goes around comes around, especially in the design world. Since 2001 - 2007 the finish light Oak has possibly been the most popular finish for furniture & kitchens across Europe. Voysey saw the beauty of this finish at least 100 years before this.

Voysey also placed great emphasis on good proportions and comfort of use. With a quaker backgrounds, there is in his best work an almost shaker 'spareness', to which he added simple elegance; well suited to our 'clean lines' philosophy of today. This furniture would look great in any interior. Shown below left is Hancock Shaker village in Massachusetts, showing built-in bedroom furniture, and although Voysey didn't see such interiors, their origin lay in the English Quaker Movement, that Voysey was brought up in. His built-in bedroom furniture, below right, is remarkably similar to the Shaker furniture.

Hancock Shaker village, Massachusetts, built-in bedroom furniture C F A Voysey Oak Arts & Crafts Movement built-in bedroom furniture

We will continue to add to our Voysey range for the forseeable future.We have a wide range of original Voysey designs to draw on, so if you don't see something you want we can probably still help. Having studied his work for 18 years I could design something new in his style quite easily. Also, many of the Voysey house owners are to be thanked for their help and enthusiasm in our work.

Fans of Voysey's work are really an enthusiasts club. Like Arts & Crafts in general in the UK it is a niche field, much like clients of the originals. It never achieved the much wider market achieved in the US.


Arts and Crafts movement C F A Voysey birds design
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