Monday, March 28, 2011

"Als Ik Kan": Hephaestus's Imperfect Frame

A new entry for the quotes on the page, "Re-framing Art":
"Als Ik Kan"


William Morris "Si Je Puis" tile from Red House

If the Arts and Crafts Movement can be said to have a motto, it is surely "Als Ik Kan." First assumed by William Morris—more famously in its French form, "Si Je Puis"—it was further popularized by Gustav Stickley through the marks on his furniture and in his magazine The Craftsman. What does the motto mean, where did it originate, and why did these re-framers of art find it so significant?