I think I have mentioned before my fondness for books so I have decided to do a regular book appreciation post.Some of the volumes might be ones I have treasured for many moons and some may be new discoveries.No theme,I just love them.So I thought I'd begin with 'The Grammar of Ornament'by Owen Jones.You can now purchase paperback copies(I've linked to one if you click the title)but my volume is very hefty and the biggest book I own.I've had my copy for about ten years and purchased it secondhand so it has been well loved and used.
It was first published in 1856 and is in very simple terms a design sourcebook but Jones wrote it with an aim to teach the Victorian designers a different way of designing and created 37 principles to work by.Drawing on his travels he displays examples of ornamental design ranging from Ancient Egypt and Greece to Renaissance Italy.
I would have to say that this book is what I would class as a 'cozy afternoon' read because the hours just pass as you pore over the endless pages of beautiful designs.And I have to admit that Jones would probably frown upon my tendency to skip much of the text to get to the images but it's very difficult not to.I've shown you just a few of my favourite pages but I could have gone on forever.
I always find myself drawn to the Indian and Persian designs as the colours are so luscious and the patterns seem almost contemporary at times.Apparently this book had a great influence on William Morris whose work is so inspirational itself which explains the freshness of the designs.
If you haven't ever seen this book before I would highly recommend seeking it out as it really is so visually inspiring.Your local library is bound to have a copy or keep you eye out for a secondhand copy.I have to admit I love the fact that my battered copy is so big and heavy that I feel like I'm opening an ancient volume and I'm a big sucker for a ribbon bookmark.Surely that's not just me..?
Until next time,take care