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Victorian Crafts: Pottery, Woodwork, Metalwork and More

One of the joys of paging through Victorian magazine is stumbling across craft ideas one has never heard of before. It's also interesting to see instructions for extremely complex crafts that, apparently, Victorian "girls" were assumed to be well able to master.


CLAY, POTTERY & SCULPTURE

Crazy China, What It Is, and How to Make It, by Dora de Blaquière (GOP 1895)
Imitation Barbotine Painting Upon Earthenware, by Blanche C. Saward (GOP 18875)
Hints on Modeling in Clay, by Fred Miller (GOP 1887)

WOODWORKING

Burnt Wood Drawing, by Ernest Jessop (GOP 1899)
Fretwork, by J. Pocock (GOP 1890)
How to Carve, and What to Carve, by Horace Townsend (GOP 1891)
Pyrography, or Poker Work, by Blanche C. Saward (GOP 1893)
Stained Poker Work: A Hint from the Paris Salon, by Fred Miller (GOP 1901)
Wood Engraving as an Employment for Girls, by Richard Taylor (GOP 1886)
A very detailed overview of how to design and create engravings for printing, and how to turn this skill into lucrative employment.

METALWORK

Bronze Painting, by Blanche C. Saward (GOP 1886)
Cloisonne Enamel, by Blanche C. Saward (GOP 1892)
A Few Hints on Repousse, by Fred Miller (GOP 1900)
"And How to Use Old Pewter Plates, with Two Original Designs." Imagine when "old pewter plates" were something unwanted that one just had lying about...
Repousse Brass Work, by Blanche C. Saward (GOP 1885)

CRAFTS FROM NATURE

Coloured Leaves: How to Print Them (GOP 1883)
How to Skeletonise Leaves (GOP 1880)
Pressed Grasses and Ferns for Ornamental Purposes, by Dora Hope (GOP 1880)
[Pressed Leaves]: Pleasant Work for the Autumn (GOP 1893)
Uses for Shells and Seaweeds (GOP 1881)

BASKET-WEAVING

Basket-Making (GOP 1892)
Basket-Weaving (How Girls Can Help Workhouse Inmates), by Blanche C. Saward (GOP 1895)
How to Make Paper Baskets for Carrying Flowers, by Eliza Brightwen (GOP 1900)
How to Weave Cane Baskets, by Leirion Clifford (GOP 1898)

LEATHERWORK

Cut Leatherwork, by Leirion Clifford (GOP 1898)
Embossed Leatherwork, by Blanche C. Saward (GOP 1896)
Leatherwork, by Dora Hope (GOP 1882)

CRAFTS FOR THE HOME

A Corner Cupboard (GOP 1902)
A Hanging Cupboard with Decorated Panel, by Fred Miller (GOP 1902)
How to Contrive and Decorate a Coffer or Linen Press (GOP 1899)
How to Make a Japanese Cabinet, by Pamela Bullock (GOP 1897)
Ornamental and Useful Knick-Knacks (GOP 1894)
A Remodeled Wardrobe (GOP 1894)
Screens with Shelves: How to Make and Decorate Them, by Fred Miller (GOP 1902)
Star-Drift Work, by Pamela Bullock (GOP 1896)
"A simple and effective way to decorate shabby furniture, old boxes and picture frames."
A Table with Cotton-Reel Legs, by "Cousin Lil" (GOP 1896)
How to create a table from a tray and a bunch of wooden spools.
What to Do With a Butter Tub, by Fred Miller (GOP 1900)
How to turn a butter tub into an attractive pot or planter.

MISCELLANY

Artistic Bead-Threading, by Fred Miller (GOP 1902)
How to Make a Metronome (GOP 1885)
How to Model a Rose in Wax, by Sophie Thwaites (GOP 1880)
How to Utilise Old Kid Gloves and Old Corks, by Blanche C. Saward (GOP 1894)
This has so many fascinating uses for "discards" I couldn't resist including the picture...

More Occupations for Invalids, by Dora de Blaquière (GOP 1882)
Knitting, Quilting, Macrame, and how to make a "stamp snake."
Mosaic Work, and How It Is Executed, by C. Harrison Townsend (GOP 1888)
Perverted Pipes, by "Cousin Lil" (GOP 1896)
How to turn pipes into pincushions, match-holders, etc.
Vitrelac, by Gleeson White (GOP 1888)
A technique for imitating Japanese lacquer-work, using glass, black varnish, and silver and gold foils.
Wrinkles from the Laundry (GOP 1896)
Things to make out of clothespins and other "laundry" items.

Copyright © 2017 by
Moira Allen.
All rights reserved.

Magazine Abbreviations:
CFM = Cassell's Family Magazine GOP = Girl's Own Paper ILA = Illustrated London Almanack S = The Strand
AM = Atlantic Monthly C = Century Magazine D = Demorest's Monthly Magazine G = Godey's Lady's Book H = Harper's Monthly
Find out more about the magazines used on this site!
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