Notebooks of Hilda Breed

Scope and Content

25 notebooks and 20 sketchbooks, memorabilia of the 1952 Conference at Dartington Hall (including notes on lectures by Bernard Leach, Yanagi, A.E Southern, Marianne Straub, Michael Cardew and Alec Hunter) and 2 small brochures of Heal's furniture, 1952. The notebooks include diaries of travels to France, Ireland and Italy, 1954-1960, Institute of Education Students' names, 1957-8, with prices for their work(?), notes on talks and on tapestries, embroideries, fabrics, looms, spindles, etc., and designs including on ceramics, seen in museums including in France, Italy and Scandinavia. The sketchbooks contain pencil and ink drawings, and watercolours, including landscapes and illustrations of buildings as well as motifs and drawings from textiles. There are also a few notes and illustrations about heraldry and memorial brasses.

Administrative / Biographical History

Hilda Breed was born in Palamcottah, Tirunelveli, South India in 1898.
From 1938 to 1950 she taught art, weaving and spinning at schools in Dagenham and Oldbury and at Howell's School in Denbigh. From 1940 until 1941 she worked at Gospels in Ditchling with Ethel Mairet. In 1941 she was made a Fellow of the Society of Designer-Craftsmen. In 1946 she became a member of the Crafts Centre of Great Britain and from 1950-1963 she taught at the Textile Crafts at Avery Hill College of Further Education, London. She wrote numerous articles for the Quarterly Journal of the Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, 1952-1969, and in 1963 set up a freelance weaver at Flansham Weaving Studio in Cootham, Sussex.
She exhibited widely including annual one-person shows at the Flansham Weaving Studios from 1963-1969; Weaving for Walls V&A Museum, 1965, Peter Dingley Gallery, Stratford upon Avon, in 1967 and an exhibition of bedcovers at Heal & Sons in 1970. She died in 1984.


When cataloguing was undertaken in 2022, it was impossible to discern any logic to the '2004.8' numbering hierarchy. The volumes have now been divided into 'Notebooks' (HAB/1) and 'Sketchbooks' (HAB/2), although many of the notebooks include sketches, and listed chronologically within each section, dates being estimated where impossible to confirm. The 3 notebooks containing notes on the lectures at the Dartington Hall Conference of 1952 have been listed as part of HAB/3, memorabilia of the conference.

Access Information

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This entry was compiled by Shirley Dixon, Archivist at the Crafts Study Centre, January 2022. The biography was adapted from that written by Frances Lord.

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