THE COLLECTION

Ditchling's place in the revival of the crafts of calligraphy and hand weaving at the beginning go the 20th century is internationally recognised. Edward Johnston, John Skelton, Ethel Mairet, Elizabeth Peacock, Hilary Bourne. Artists have been attracted to Ditchling and its surroundings for over a century. Frank Brangwyn, Louis Ginnett, Charles Knight, Amy Sawyer, Rowland Emett

Edward Johnston 1872-1944

Calligrapher who taught Gill lettering at the Central School of Art and Craft and followed him to Ditchling where he lived from 1913 until his death in 1944. He is buried in St Margaret's Churchyard, Ditchling. Johnston designed the original typeface and logo for the London Underground and he remains the foremost inspiration for calligraphers throughout the world.

John Skelton 1923-1999

Sculptor Gill's nephew and last apprentice. After Gill died he became apprenticed to Joseph Cribb before setting up his own workshop in Streat. His work is in Chichester Cathedral and in many Sussex churchyards and in Ditchling his lettering can be seen in the village, the churchyard and the parish cemetery.

Ethel Mairet 1872-1952

Pioneered the revival of hand woven textiles and vegetable dyes. Her text book on vegetable dyes was printed by St Dominic's Press. She moved to Ditchling from Chipping Camden in 1918 and established her workshop at 'Gospels', a house she had built in the Arts and Crafts style. Her brother and fellow Ditchling resident, Fred Partridge, was a metal designer and maker of jewellery who made wooden buttons for her garments.

Among the visitors to Gospels in the 1920's were the potters Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada who also visited Gill at the Guild. Hamada was presented with a length of hand woven fabric and was so inspired by what he saw in Ditchling that he returned to Japan and established his rural pottery at Mashiko.

Elizabeth Peacock 1880-1969

Spinner and weaver who worked with Ethel Mairet at Ditchling before starting her own weaving workshop with her lifelong friend Molly Stobart at 'Weavers' in nearby Clayton. One of her best known commissions is the series of eight banners for Dartington Hall in Devon.

Hilary Bourne 1909-2004

Spinner and weaver whose commissions include furnishings for the Royal Festival Hall in 1951. Her clients included Fortnum and Masons and Liberty's and she was one of the first to use synthetic materials such as lycra in her fabrics. She designed and wove the fabric for Charlton Heston's costume in the film 'Ben Hur'.

Sir Frank Brangwyn 1867-1956

Artist and muralist lived at The Jointure for nearly 40 years. During this time he completed two of his most important mural commissions, the British Empire panels now in Swansea and the Rockefeller Center panels, New York, for which villagers, including the young Sir Donald Sinden, sat as models.

Louis Ginnett 1875-1946

Artist lived at Chichester House in the High Street. He taught at Brighton School of Art and among his public works are the murals in the hall of the Brighton, Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College. During the First World War Ginnett captured scenes of devastation on the Western Front. His portraits include many studies of his daughter Mary.

Charles Knight 1901-1990

Artist and stained glass designer was taught by Ginnett at Brighton School of Art. He painted many Sussex landscapes including the Downs near his home and in 1940 he was one of the artists commissioned to take part in the Recording Britain scheme.

Amy Sawyer 1885-1945

Artist and playwright came to Ditchling in 1897. She gave drawing lessons to Hilary Bourne and to John Wells who went on to become one of the St Ives group of abstract artists. She also wrote plays, often in the Sussex dialect, which were performed by Ditchling villagers.

Rowland Emett 1906-1990

Cartoonist and designer of imaginative machines. He lived in Wild Goose Cottage, named after one of the engines in the 'Far Tottering and Oystercreek Railway' he built for the Festival of Britain. He is perhaps best known for the amazing machines he created for the film 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'.