The work of William Mason, arguably the most important wallpaper designer and manufacturer in New Zealand history, has been brought back to life by Resene.
Napier-born and London-trained textile designer Mason lived in Wellington in the 1950s, teaching art and exhibiting paintings. He and his wife Maureen began producing handprinted textiles, then wallpapers which were eagerly snapped up by homeowners renovating old villas. By 1965, the Masons' work adorned the walls of embassies worldwide as well as the New Zealand suite in the Hong Kong Hilton hotel. Today, examples are held in prominent galleries and museums including the Alexander Turnbull Library and Te Papa.
Printing wallpaper is an ancient art. Originally printed by blocks made from fruit tree wood it superseded the previous means of decorating walls – hanging plain paper and illustrating it when in situ. By the 1950s the ‘screen printing’ technique became more widespread and is the process we are most familiar with today.
Wallpaper has been part of the Resene story since the company bought Mason Prints in 1974. The business came complete with the Marion Street building in Wellington which housed the wallpaper showroom and subsequently became the first Resene ColorShop. Resene continued to expand the original Mason's collection into new designs and colourways.
The collection was reborn in 2016. Around 20 of the Mason positives were in good enough condition to consider using, from which eight formed the final selection. While the resulting sample book features selected Resene colour combinations, decorators are welcome to specify their own preferences from any of the Resene colour collections.
Mason designs are hand screenprinted using Resene paints. Specialist blank papers are imported by Aspiring Walls, which also supplies Resene with commercial wallpaper ranges.
View the Mason Handcrafted Wallpaper collection at your local Resene ColorShop (selected stores only). Or view the Mason designs and colour ideas online at www.resene.com/mason.
Please place your wallpaper orders allowing plenty of time as there may be delays and some items may be unavailable. Samples are now available again in some designs. Ask our Resene ColorShop team for assistance. Please view your favourites in store. From 1 May 2021, freight charges of $17.25 per roll apply to all imported wallpapers due to current higher freight costs.
Search Habitat articles
If you have an idea, project or story that you think would suit Habitat plus, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us an email with your details and include photos if submitting a project.
Habitat plus are not mailed directly. They are available free from Resene ColorShops and resellers while stocks last and available for viewing online.