Friday, January 27, 2012

Photoless Friday: Owen's next to last exhortation

Owen's next to the last bit of design advice:

PROPOSITION 36: The principles discoverable in the works of the past belong to us; not so the results. It is taking the end for the means.


I know I was....More......

Looking at the works commended in his Grammar of Ornament, which takes examples from countries all over the world and all across the ages, I wouldn't have expected this.

No mere copying-and-pasting design elements for our Owen, however. No historical pastiches, and they were plentiful during his day, no Neo-Gothic, no Neo-Renaissance, no Neo-Classicism, no Neo-Orientalism, no! no! no!

Then again, maybe I should have expected it.

It rings true to his exhortation about studying nature:

adopt the principles, abhore superficial copying.

If you think about it, it doesn't just cut one way.

Like a two-edged sword, for those loving modernism the implied exhortation is just as strong:

don't turn your nose up at works of the past just because they are "old"; they, too, should be studied in order to distill and profit from their accomplishments.

The farsightedness and continued usefulness of his advice continues to astound me.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Photoless Friday: Owen Jones countdown

Only a few more of Owen Jones' precious design principles still left to ponder.

PROPOSITION 35: Imitations, such as the graining of woods, and of the various coloured marbles, [are] allowable only, when the employment of the thing imitated would not have been inconsistent.


It's easier to understand if you take out the double negative:

PROPOSITION 35: Imitations, such as the graining of woods, and of the various coloured marbles, [are] allowable only, when the employment of the thing imitated would have been consistent.

In other words, in Jones' opinion, artists and architects should use materials, or their imitations, only where they make logical sense.

Today, I think most artists and architects would be more eager to "push the envelope" than this might seem to encourage, but, for all his seemingly hard and fast rules, Jones encouraged keeping true to the principles, not the surface details, of nature.

If we want structure of any kind to seem sturdy, then the materials, or their representations, must seem able to support the "weight" in whatever form it is.

It also means that the contrary is true. If we want to encourage a sense of disorientation, or incapacity, or..., or..., or..., then the structure will be out of materials, or their representations, that do not seem to support the weight.

Klee's twittering machines just sprung to mind.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Milan Monday: a beautiful capital from via Manzoni

Looking for a classicizing capital to top off something in a design, or just make a lovely horizontal pillow, or decoration? Well, here you go!...More......

I developed today's design--free for your personal non-commercial stitching pleasure--out of my own photo of a façade on via Manzoni in Milan. I captured the detail of my photo that I wanted, then I uploaded it into the handy StitchPainter program, forcing the size and shape that I wanted (you CAN do this, but you also can let the photo upload as it will).

The capital has the ancient Greek (handed down through the Renaissance) ionic order scroll curls gussied up with a 19th century taste for decoration.

For more info about the building, and a picture of the whole façade, see my post in my "My Milan (Italy)" blog:


Friday, January 13, 2012

Photoless Friday (a handful of Owen Jones)

Photoless Friday...yeah! For the first time in quite awhile. I'm wanting to be done with this list, though, as interesting as it is and as helpful as it will be, of Owen Jones' design principles, and get to the designing together with you, so here are...More......

...a handful of them all about separating foreground from background:

"PROPOSITION 29: When ornaments in a colour are on a ground of a contasting colour, the ornament should be separated from the ground by an edging of lighter colour; as a red flower on a green ground should have an edging of lighter red.

PROPOSITION 30: When ornaments in a colour are on a gold ground, the ornaments should be separated from the ground by an edging of a darker colour.

PROPOSITION 31: Gold ornaments on any coloured ground should be outlined with black.

PROPOSITION 32: Ornaments of any colour may be separated from grounds of any other colour by edgings of white, gold, or black.

PROPOSITION 33: Ornaments in any color, or in gold, may be used on white or black grounds, without outline or edging.

PROPOSITION 34: In 'self-tints,' tones, or shades of the same colour, a light tint on a dark ground may be used without outline; but a dark ornament on a light ground requires to be outlined with a still darker tint."


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year

What better way to start the New Year than with something cheery and more meaningful than it might seem.

If you work on an 18-point canvas, the design is sized for a 14"x14" pillow.

Add your own borders, or look up some ideas on my blog by clicking on "borders."

I did the writing with the Bradley Hand ITC font in Paint with the black-and-white feature turned on (reduces edge smudging), copied-and-pasted it into a StitchPainter file, then turned it into a bmp to share with you for your personal non-commercial stitching pleasure.

Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...