Esme Davis archive

Scope and Content

The archive consists of

  • Correspondence, including letters and postcards from Ethel Mairet to Esme Davis, 1944-1952
  • Notes, drawings and diagrams
  • Mounted weaving and spinning samples
  • Material relating to the exhibition of Ethel Mairet's work, A Weaver's Life, held at the Crafts Study Centre between 25 Aug-30 Oct 1983
  • Photographs of Ethel Mairet spinning at Gospels
  • Weaving Pamplets no. 1-3, published by Ethel Mairet at Gospels

Administrative / Biographical History

Esme Davis worked at Gospels with Ethel Mairet and was contemporary with Barbara Sawyer. She originally attended the workshop for half a day a week while teaching at Worthing School of Art until, in 1944  she became Mairet's assistant for six months. She was particularly involved with spindle spinning and also assembled a number of sample cards of hand-piled, wheel and machine spun yarns.


The archive material is arranged in the original order in which it was deposited at the CSC.

Conditions Governing Access

The archival material may be viewed by appointment only.


This entry was compiled by Becky Lyle, Submissions Officer for the project and by Jean Vacher, Collections Manager at the Crafts Study Centre. The biography was written by Frances Lord.

Other Finding Aids

A catalogue is available onsite.

Conditions Governing Use

The photocopying of archival material is not allowed. Written permission must be sought before any archival material is published.

Appraisal Information

None timetabled


None expected

Related Material

The Crafts Study Centre holds other material relating to the Esme Davis archive in the

  • Ethel Mairet archive
  • Ethel Mairet textile archive
  • Ethel Mairet sample books

Also see access points


Selected bibliography

Coatts, Margot, A weaver's Life, Ethel Mairet, 1872-1952 Crafts Council, 1983