I’ve always been fascinated with the Arts and Crafts Movement, especially Charles Rennie Macintosh and the Glasgow School. I visited Hill House last year and fell in love with Margaret MacDonald’s work.
Ann Macbeth was one of the ‘Glasgow girls’ too, she attended the Glasgow School of Art along with Jessie M King, Margaret MacDonald, and Jessie Newberry, who are a few of the said ‘Glasgow Girls’.
Last week I had time to spare waiting for my bus so I visited the local museum. As a porcelain painter myself handpainted china has an ability to leap out at me, I spotted a plate in the same style as the teaset below. On further investigation I read it was handpainted by Ann Macdonald, I was surprised to find that Ann was an overglaze painter who lived locally, and she was also one of the Glasgow Girls.
Ann Macdonald was born in 1875 in Lancashire, she studied art at the Glasgow school of Art, where she became head of embroidery. She designed for Liberty’s and wrote several books. She saw craft as a way of empowering women, enabling their independence.
I greatly admire the Arts and Crafts designers, for their ethos and their ability to work in different media, they are such an inspiration to me. And to find Ann Macdonald, who not only lived locally and painted on porcelain, as well as working in other media was just the icing on the cake, a woman after my own heart. And I suppose today our craft forums and social media sites are the modern equivalent of these group and societies.