Frost Arts and Crafts Workshop
After reading Brad Clark’s letter which I printed in this week’s Little Journeys, I was curious to learn more about the Frost Arts and Crafts Workshop. A quick Google search took me to a familiar, reliable website: ChicagoSilver.com.
Sub-titled “Handwrought Metalwork from the American Arts & Crafts Movement,” this wide-ranging website contains great information and detailed photographs of nearly 50 different firms. Once you’ve been there you’ll find yourself going back time and time again. Here is what I found there this time:
“Dayton was also host to George Frost, who in 1906 founded The Frost Arts And Crafts Workshops “where are made by skilled Craftsmen, beautiful things in Copper bronze, brass, iron, Silver / Workers in Art Glass, Tooled Leathers, Rare Woods, Precious and Semi-Precious Stones, etc.” Two years after its inception the company began selling tools and supplies.
Its Catalog No. 24 states:
“WHEN we organized our workshop, about two years ago, we did not consider the matter of furnishing supplies to individual workers outside of our own workshop, but as soon as we commenced to advertise the workshop’s product in various publications we immediately received a large number of requests from individuals living in remote localities, in which they requested us to make them prices on various materials required in order to produce articles at home.
“We will be very grateful for suggestions relative to future editions of this catalog, for it is our aim and purpose to create a supply department for the home workers from which can be procured almost any material or tool that may be required in any particular class of work. It is the desire of the workshop to assist our fellow-craftsmen in every way possible. We do not pretend that we are conducting the workshop without expecting a reasonable return for our own honest efforts. On the other hand, we find it a real pleasure in doing all we can to further the Arts and Crafts movement in America.”
“This catalog also mentions that “[d]uring the past two years the business of the workshop has continually increased until the point has finally been reached where our present quarters are inadequate to properly carry on the many lines of work which now receive consideration. The illustration made from the architect’s drawing shows a side elevation of the splendid new workshop which is now in course of erection and which we expect to occupy by August 1, 1909. We have acquired a considerable plot of ground, almost in the heart of the city of Dayton and located along the Miami River, between two of the principal business streets of the city. The river at this point is very wide, and only a short distance from the workshop is located one of the four splendid concrete arch bridges which span the Miami River, so that from our workshop windows we will have a splendid view. Beautiful boulevards run along the side of the river, and the building illustrated above faces along the river front. It measures 40 x 80 feet and is three stories high. The walls are built of pressed brick and the roof is covered with dark red tile. The interior of the workshop is plastered throughout with the exception of the basement side walls. Wood work is in mission finish. On the second floor is located a large display room, in which we will have on display not only our own handiwork, but will also have examples of the best work from other shops, and including fine pottery, etc.”
“Frost’s work is often confused with that from Carence Crafters, The Marshall Field Craft Shop, and the Forest Craft Guild. Frost pieces often exhibit more pronounced hammering than those others, especially on edges. And its craftsmen made extensive use of green verdigris highlights.”
Note: their most common shopmark is a triangle around the word FROST.
Again, a special thanks to ChicagoSilver.com for sharing your research and photographs with us!