Things You Can Make

Brochure courtesy of Dick Blacher. Comments courtesy of Dard Hunter III. Description and pictures courtesy of Paul Jackson.

Things You Can Make
The Dard Hunter School of Handicraft

by Dard Hunter, undated but definitely from 1908 - 1909 period

This brochure measures 6 3/4" x 3" and has 16 pages. Although undated this is definitely from mid to late 1908 after his return from his Vienna honeymoon with Edith or possibly early 1909. I speculate that this particular copy belonged to Dard Hunter and was used a a proof for future editions advertising his correspondence courses for Jewelry making and leaded glass making. I base this supposition upon the hand written leaded glass which appears to be in Dard's hand writing. This writing is over an erasure and a line out and has all the appearance of an authors proof correction.
This brochure offers kits for both courses jewelry and leaded glass with the cost being $25 for the jewelry course, $20 for the leaded glass course of $40 for both. The kits provided all the required tools, designs and instructions required to complete the projects. Raw materials for construction were at the responsibility of the buyer.
This piece of ephemera is quite rare; I only know of two examples, one in the Dard Hunter collection at Mountain House in Chillicothe and the other in the Richard Blacher collection and as such is a highly prized item.

Comments: In June of 1904, Dard applied for a summer position with Elbert Hubbard and the Roycrofters. He was denied employment but insisted he could do the job and in July he simply showed up at the artistís colony and was hired. Within a few months, he was designing stained glass for windows in the Roycroft Inn and title pages for Hubbardís press. Initially, many of his designs were based on earlier newspaper efforts such as the 1903 Ohio History piece seen above. In his spare time, Hunter perused journals such as Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, gaining a sense of design in the Viennese fashion.

    In 1908, Dard married Roycroft pianist Edith Cornell. At the time, he was so enamored with the work of Josef Hoffman and the
Wiener Werkstatte that they spent their honeymoon in Vienna. For the next few years, Hunter incorporated the geometric patterns and highly stylized figures into his work with the Roycrofters. Hunterís designs for books, leather, glass and metal helped unify the Roycroft product line and distinguish it from that of other American Arts & Crafts enterprises. Hunter also experimented with pottery, jewelry, and furniture and had a successful correspondence school with The Dard Hunter School of Handicrafts. The brochure, Things You Can Make, offered kits for jewelry and leaded glass windows. During his time with the Roycrofters, Dard Hunter experimented with several different medias including pottery, furniture, stained glass, metals, and jewelry. His correspondence course ďThings You Can MakeĒ was a success, having many subscribers in 1908.

    Disillusioned with the commercialism of the Roycrofters and eager to set out on his own, Hunter returned to
Vienna in 1910. After taking courses in lithography, book decoration, and letter design at the K. K. Graphische Lehrund Versuchsanstalt (Royal-Imperial Graphic Teaching and Experimental Institute), he then moved to London. There he was successful in finding work with the Norfolk Studios designing books and advertising literature.

    In June of 1904, Dard applied for a summer position with Elbert Hubbard and the Roycrofters. He was denied employment but insisted he could do the job and in July he simply showed up at the artistís colony and was hired. Within a few months, he was designing stained glass for windows in the Roycroft Inn and title pages for Hubbardís press. Initially, many of his designs were based on earlier newspaper efforts such as the 1903
Ohio History piece seen above. In his spare time, Hunter perused journals such as Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, gaining a sense of design in the Viennese fashion.

    The Mountain House Library & Archives holds a complete collection of Hunterís Mountain House Press books on the subject of papermaking as well as the manuscripts, printerís dummy, and ephemera related to each book. The collection also houses numerous Roycroft publications featuring Hunterís designs. In addition to work produced by Hunter, Sr., the collection also includes The Life Work of Dard Hunter which was written and printed by Dard Hunter, II. This magnificent two volume set lives up to its title and is a true labor of love from son to father.

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