Friday, 8 October 2010

Play time with Owen Jones and the NYPL

Owen Jones?... Owen Jones?... For those of you who haven't yet had the pleasure, Owen Jones was a British architect during the 19th Century, and famously the author of The Grammar of Ornament, which was first published in London, 1856. You can read a little bit about him here. For anyone who is suffering from a creative block, I strongly recommend that you do a google image search of "Owen Jones + The Grammar of Ornament", and I promise you, that'll get your juices flowing again!

As anyone who follows my blog has probably already noted, I am especially inspired by elements of historical ornamental design. And this stuff really does it for me!

The Textile Blog (a mine of historical and cultural information) has many posts about Owen's work. I searched the blog under his name and these are the results available, for those interested.

The New York Public Library [NYPL] has a great digital library, which happens to present some of Owen's decorative plates which you can find here. The fun thing about this particlaur site is that you can select a plate image, and from the page that opens, you can then select the zoom option, and the plate will open in a new window which allows you to explore the image in great depth. Just click on an area of the image and select the zoom again. You can pan around the image and get quite creative with it. For example...

This came from zooming in on a plate from Nineveh and Persia. This little section reminds me so much of Jude Hill's gracefully stitched feathers. Jude has several posts on her blog which relate to her feathers, it was hard to choose between them, but I like this one alot.

And from a plate of Elizabethan ornament...

A fabulous repeat pattern - oddly Indian in it's appearance I thought - that I might do something with one day.


From Leaves and Flowers from Nature Ornament no. 10: Passion flowers. (1856). Now wouldn't that make a cool embroidered pillow?

Now, if you'll excuse me... I am going out to play with other featured works on the NYPL digital library!

Want to join in? :)

P.S. Check out the bugs! here . This is for a new blog friend, Susan Fletcher Conaway over at Fiber Art and craft. I am really enjoying her work and posts!

1 comment:

neki desu said...

what a wonderful resource! thanks for the link.

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