Truth Beauty Power
Recently I’ve been reading Studies In Design (http://tinyurl.com/ytgym) by Christopher Dresser. The book was initially published in 1875 as an inspirational guide for designers. Dresser was most notable for his contributions to the Victorian era with his intricately designed textiles, furniture and ceramics. The following are passages I felt like sharing.
Decorations, to be satisfying to the educated, must manifest knowledge… for unless the decoration is done wisely as well as with understanding , it may yet fail to please those who are best able to appreciate good ornament.
In all attempts at the production of what is new, there is a danger of being extreme, eccentric, or unrefined.
Study, I say, whatever has gone before; not with the view of becoming a copyist, but with the object of gaining knowledge, and of seeking out general truths and broad principles, which will serve you as they have served the noble and good in times long past.
Dresser’s inspiration can be seen in many different (http://www.squidfingers.com/patterns/) forms (http://www.24-7media.de/ingram/) of current works. I spent some time in Greenwich Village studying iron fence decorations that reflect the same victorian style Dresser pioneered. Here are some examples (http://playgroundblues.com/photosets.asp?catID=48).