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Decoration & crafts

Artscolumbia / Applied arts  / Decoration & crafts

A glance at the decadence of any decorative art is apt to engender a feeling of regret.

In some instances its secret has died out with the last of the traditional workers; in others it has been crowded but by new requirements and tastes. The exquisite iron work of the Renaissance period is no longer produced, for who would pay the cost of such elaboration, or what modern forger at the anvil could be found equal to the task of producing those delicate tendrils and leaves and exquisite interlacings.

The art of enameling has been revived by the demand for it in jewelry, but in former times there were methods and processes that mod- ern practice does not approach, and which involve buried secrets. The Spaniards of old prod used de- scriptions of light fictile ware scintellating with colored light and which varied w|th every change of position, specimens of which now exceed in value their weight in gold because rarely obtainable.

The last report of the U. S. Consul at Barcelona gives evidence of the painted, glazed and enameled tile industry, ancient samples of which awaken modern admiration, and which were scattered as far as the Philippine Islands. With their wonderful arabesques, they were a heritage from the Arabs. Simii* larly, the Spanish embossed leather hangings can no longer be approached. In an old Spanish book describing ihe process of making them, the writer declares the process to be so difficult that he hud never met with a workman absolutely faultless in his productions.

These were citirs (lores of Cardova and Seville, gilded leather stamped and painted, and which were used as hangings as well as for upholstery coverings. No modern skill can approach the excellence of antique~speci mens. Lo, too, with Venetian glass and silk embroideries. But why further enumerate. If old arts die, new requirements evolve others in their place. No preceding century approached the pre sent in beauty and variety of decorative enrichments. If we have lost some secrets, we have recovered others, and th.e spirit of inventiveness is ever at work.

Bamboo Crafts of North-east India

Bamboo crafts of the northeastern region of India have developed over centuries to reach a high level of structural and aesthetic sophistication. This is amply illustrated by the vast range of products currently being made and used by several tribes living in this region. A study of these products reveals a vast repertory of forms, structures, and techniques. The product range inc ludes large structures such as bridges, houses, fences, gates, and bullock carts besides storage bins and a wide variety o baskets both tor carrying and storage. In addition, devices for fishing, hunting farming, and weaving as well as products for household use such as furniture, toys smoking pipes, combs, hats, and musical instruments are exquisitely crafted fro bamboo. People...

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Art invades craft

Another typical sequence of change occurs when members of an established world already generally defined as “art,” people involved in the typical ac tivities and ideologies of a contemporary art world, invade (and the military metaphor is appropriate) an established craft world and especially its art segment. The sequence begins when some fine artists look for new media in which to explore a current expressive problem. These artists happen on one of the crafts and see in its materials and techniques a potential for artistic exploitation. They see a way to do something that will interest the art world to which they are oriented and to which they respond. They have no interest in the conventional standard of practical utility;...

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Craft and Art

As a work ideology, an aesthetic, and a form of work organization, craft can and does exist independent of art worlds, their practitioners, and their defini tions. In the pure folk definition, a craft consists of a body of knowledge and skill which can be used to produce useful objects: dishes one can eat from, chairs one can sit in, cloth that makes serviceable clothing, plumbing that works, electrical wiring that carries current. From a slightly different point of view, it consists of the ability to perform in a useful way: to play music that can be danced to, serve a meal to guests efficiently, arrest a criminal with a minimum of fuss, clean a house to the satisfaction of...

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Arts and Crafts

“Art” and “craft” arc two contrasting kinds of aesthetic, work orga- nization, and work ideology, differing in their emphases on the stan- dards of utility, virtuoso skill, and beauty. Activities organized as craft can become art when members of established art worlds take over their media, techniques, and organizations. Conversely, through in- creased academicism or subordination of traditional art concerns to exigencies that arise outside an art world, activities organized as art can become craft. People often use commonsense folk classifications to categorize their occupa tions, the organized forms of work they participate in (see Hughes 1971, pp. 360-63). They may speak of the medical “profession,” the music “business,” the “science” or “discipline” of sociology, the garment “trade,” or the num bers “racket.” Each term conveys in shorthand...

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Borobudur Stūpa

The splendiferous monument Borobudur which stands surrounded by volcanoes in the middle of the Kedu plain in central Java is indubitably one of the noblest buildings to have sprung from the Buddhist faith and is one of the world's finest religious founda tions. It stands to convey an extraordinary impression of the ultimate tranquility which Buddhism affords to its believers. That it does so is an architectural achievement of the highest order and testifies to the successful manner in which structure and decoration have been treated together to produce a coherent whole. Great ingenuity is demonstrated in the lay-out. It is the only stupa in Java which is rich in other types of Buddhist monuments. It is a unique product...

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Decorative Hierarchies: Waei. Painting

The identification of possible hierarchies in wall painting is rather more speculative, as wall plaster tends to survive in poor condition, if at all. The houses on Delos were built in stone, and the walls are often preserved to a considerable height with the plaster still attached. However, the excavators’ reconstructions above frieze level usually rely to an unknown extent on comparisons with Campanian First Style paintings; but as there are significant differences between the Masonry Style and the First Style in the treatment of the lower part of the wall, it is by no means certain that the upper zones were similar. The picture is further complicated by fallen fragments of paintings from upstairs rooms. Regional differences even within...

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Space and decoration in hellenistic houses

The decoration of walls and lloors was used to structure thr spare in Hellenistic houses, by means of hierarchies which would have been easily tradable by a contemporary observer, but which need to be elucidated before we can understand their workings. I shall propose possible structures for these hierarchies in the design of mosaics and wall paintings, and then analyse some surviving houses, to show how their schemes of decoration might have worked in practice. A more detailed understanding of decoration should also be a useful tool for appreciating differences in status between houses at the same site and comparing houses across different sites. Moreover, studying the decoration of these houses gives an insight into changing patterns in the use...

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A Note on the Arts and Crafts Schools of Germany

Tive and therefore charming small canvas by D. W. Try on, “Evening—Septem ber”; J. Francis Murphy shows a small work delightfully interpretative entitled “Showery Day”; J. Alden Weir is seen at his best in "Autumn,” and William Lathrop in “A Stretch of Salt Marsh land.” Emil Carlsen’s “Wood Interior” has decorative quality aside from pro nounced beauty both of theme and treat ment; Charles H. Davis’s “Summer in the Hills” combines classical spirit with modern spontaneity. Among the painters of winter, the interpreters of sunlit frosty air—Schofield, Redfield and Gard ner Symons—are as usual to the fore. Daniel Garber’s prize winning picture shows, not only admirable transcription of the subtleties of light and air, but feeling for design and a...

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Stage Decoration and the Unity of Place in France in the Seventeenth Century- Part 2

La Mesnardibre, as late as 1640, is still advocating the old system which had come down from the Middle Ages, for, as he says, since the stage generally represents a whole city, often a small country, and sometimes a house, it must show as many scenes as it marks different places. It must not present a garden or a forest for the scene of an action which has happened in a palace; and even in this palace, the stage should not show anything happening in the apartment of the king which should take place in the queen's apartment. If the event has happened on the sea-shore, the stage must show a marine scene in one of its fagades in order...

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Stage Decoration and the Unity of Place in France in the Seventeenth Century- Part 1

The simultaneous stage setting of the Middle Ages, with its freedom in regard to the number and situation of scenes, which was in vogue in Paris in the early years of the seventeenth century, was in direct opposition to the rule of the unity of place. The Middle Ages and classicism were at swords' points. Practice was arrayed against theory. When Corneille began to produce plays, he accepted the time-honored system of stage decoration; and, as he said, he followed Hardy and common-sense. There is little reason for believ- ing that the appearance of the stage of the H6tel de Bourgogne had changed at any time from the moment the Confrerie de la Passion took possession of it until at...

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Gift and Loan to the Textile Departme

The Textile Collection has recieved as a gift from Miss Louise M. Nathurst seventy-four THE Textile Collection has received as a gift pieces of Italian towels, some of them dating, possibly, from the fifteenth or sixteenth century. These towels are of white linen loosely twisted and woven in diaper patterns with many plain and ornamental bands woven in blue cotton on the ends. Animals and birds, both real and imaginary, are used in the designs, such as hares, dogs, horses, lions, unicorns, dragons, eagles, peacocks, cocks and griffons, also men, both on foot and on horseback, and women and mermaids. The figures are arranged, as a rule, face to face, and are separated by trees, flowers, fountains or battlemented towers...

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Bauhaus and Arts and Crafts Movement

"If today's arts love the machine, technology and organization, if they aspire to precision and reject anything vague and dreamy, this implies an instinctive repudiation of chaos and a longing to find the form appropriate to our times." — Oskar Schlemmer Through the history of art, Two important art movement influences almost everything in our daily life. The building we lived in, the glasses we used, and the technic equipment we made, are all influenced by both art movement: Bauhaus in Germany, and the Arts and Crafts Movement in UK. In this Essay, Both movements will be talked over, and compared and contrasted. The both key designer Walter Gropius and William Morris, and their art works from each movement will be researched. There...

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