Today I was reminded of a huge tome which, when I started my Design Degree many years ago, was at the top of the reading and reference list. We students were told that, if we were serious about Design, we should purchase the enormous fully illustrated book by Owen Jones that is ‘The Grammar of Ornament’ and that it should become our bible.
Very annoyingly at the time it cost me a full two months’ rent. I begrudgingly forked out the cash but didn’t consider it to be worth that much. I did, however want to be considered a serious designer so did what I was told. Of course I was proven wrong and had to eat my words, or rather my thoughts, which I’d had the sense not to voice.
I have referred to the illustrations in this gargantuan volume of work many times throughout my life and today as I wandered around the temples and palaces of Mysore the images from Owens book were singing out to me from the walls and carvings in full 3D and Technicolor.
Anyone with an ounce of creativity couldn’t fail to be amazed and inspired. My husband has about 2 ounces of creativity so he understood why I took another 200 photos, then when my battery ran out let me use his i.phone to continue!
I now have my own mini modern-day digitally photographed and stored Grammar of Ornament. Not as heavy or costly as the original, but just as inspiring when I need some ideas for decoration or embellishment of my linen kit clothing range on return to UK.