Skip to main content

Full text of "A book of studies in plant form with some suggestions for their application to design"

See other formats


' "^w 



:-,n^,i--gos5.'d»,; 




'°asK>«-^>SS!W*^*W'' 



•■R'***' fr-''*^-^ 



f tVt ' i^W i^^f^KBb' 



)nBVtorD 



dOUK iVCKEL OOAEt 



JH M^MORhVM 




R0BeRT>f01M€5 



/^S555^^^^* 



IN THIS COLLEGE>ryYvv.£>^ 

THIS BQD>ClSONE9FAHUMB9^ 
JFPPHIH^ LIBRARY 9/Jvi»i HOLMES 
PRESEMTED TO THE 0>^TA jUO 
CDILEGE 9^ ART BY HIS RELATIVES 
JUNE ^^^^^^^^^1-930 



//n3 




^ 



^ 



A BOOK OF STUDIES IN PLANT FORM 
AND DESIGN 




Fig. I. — Bermuda Easte; Lily. Flowers white, cone shaped. Height 2 feet. 
Fig. 2.— Lilium Candidum. White flowers. Height 2 feet. 




New York 
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 
1896 



/ITTTV 



hi 




Fig. 3. — \'iolet. Five inches high, running growth. 



PREFACE 

One of the " notes " of recent decorative art has been its 
comparative disuse of the elements and forms of historic 
ornament, and its return to Nature, and especially to floral 
forms, for inspiration. Now it is seldom that the plant 
most suitable for a particular design is in season when it 
is wanted, and it is often so difficult (sometimes impossible) 
to find a drawing of the ornamental side of many plants, 
that the authors venture to hope that designers of all kinds will 
welcome a series of more or less decorative drawings and photo- 
graphs from nature. Their work is, however, intended in the 
first instance for students, and it was felt that to them a collec- 
tion of suggestive designs would be even more useful than the 
naturalistic drawings. The authors have tried, therefore, to show 
how their plant forms might be simplified and converted into 
ornament, and have included designs for simple space filling, and 
also for such processes as gesso, stencilling, wall papers, textiles, 
and so on. 



viii PREFACE 

To make the book more useful to art classes a short summary 
is given of the principles of design, but students are strongly re- 
commended to study the exhaustive treatment of this important 
subject in Mr. F. G. Jackson's two books on Principles and 
Practice of Design. 

Concise accounts are also included of the technical require- 
ments of the different piocesses illustrated ; information so 
essential in practical designing. 




Fig. 4. — Mistletoe. Plerries white-green. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I 

PAGE 

Principles of Design i 



CHAPTER II 
Space Filling 17 

CHAPTER III 
Borders 26 

CHAPTER IV 
All-over Patterns 37 

CHAPTER V 
Gesso '45 

CHAPTER VI 
Embroidery 56 

CHAPTER VII 
Textiles 69 



TABLE OF CONTEXTS 



CHAPTER Vni 

PAGE 

Stencilling 90 



CHAPTER IX 
Wall Papers 106 

CHAPTER X 
Tiles 119 



INDEX TO THE ILLUSTRATIONS 

The titles of the designs are printed in italics. 

Acanthus 55 

Anemone (Autumn) 50 

Anemone (Garden) 51 

Anemone (Wood) 54 

Apple-blossom 93 

Apple-Fruit 55 

Apple (Crab) 94 

Apple — Stencil spot pattern 95 

Arrowhead 130 

Arrowhead — Tile frieze 131 

Astrantia 38 

Bartonia Aurea 37 

Bartonia — Spot and powder pattern yj 

Blackberry 84 

Blackberry— Crctoniie 85 

Blackthorn • . . 12 

Blackthorn — Panel 17 

Blackthorn — htterchange pattern 43 

Bluebell 47 

Bryony 33 

Buttercup 18 

Campanula 38 

Canary Creeper 34 

Canary Creeper — Border 34 

Canary Creeper— Brocade IT 

Chestnut 68 

Chestnut — Fruit and buds 77 

Christmas Rose 72 



xii INDEX TO THE ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGE 

Christmas Rose — Madras muslin 7 1 

Chrysanthemum 28 

Chrysanthemum — Border 27 

Clematis ; 124 

Clematis — Tiles diaper 123 

Columbine 3 

Convolvulus 33 

Convolvulus — Border 32 

Cookoo Pint 9^ 

Cornflower 38 

Cornflower (Perennial) 127 

Corn (Indian) 80 

Crocus 56 

Crocus — Embroidered book-cover 58 

Crown Imperial 14 

Cyclamen 6 

Cyclamen — Card back 20 

Cyclamen— Border for cup 32 

Daffodil 23 

Daffodil— Panel 22 

Daffodil— Panel 24 

Daffodil— Diaper 41 

Dahlia . 126 

Dahlia— Tile hearth 125 

Daisy (Ox eye) 53 

Dandelion 2 

Datidelion — Card back 20 

Da?idelion — Cover of the book 

Embroidery stitches 65 

Escholtzia 5 

Flowering rush 122 

F'loweriiig rush— Tile border 123 

Flowering rush — Tile diaper pattern 119 

Fritillary - 119 

Fuchsia 10 

Fungi 42 

Gladiolus Colvillii 61 

Goatsbeard 4 

Goose grass 39 

Goose grass — Spot and powder pattern 39 



INDEX TO THE ILLUSTRATIONS xiii 

I'AGF, 

Goose <^r(jss — Cretonne 8i 

Grass (Cotton) 57 

Grass (Feather) . 57 

Grass (Goose) 39 

Grass (Sea Couch) 37 

Grass (White Darnel; 57 

Hazel 69 

Hawthorn blossom 25 

Hawthorn stipules and leaves 27 

Hawthorn — Border 26 

Holly 69 

Holly (Sea) 116 

Holly {Sea) — Wall-paper 117 

Honeysuckle 71 

Honeysuckle — Tapestry 7a 

Honeysuckle — Printed muslin 88 

Honeysuckle (Japanese) 68 

Hyacinth 47 

Indian Corn 80 

Iris (Florentine) 91 

Iris (German) 89 

Iris (Purple) 92 

Iris — Stencil frieze 90 

Iris (Spanish) 64 

Iris (Spanish) — Embroidered portiere 65 

Iris (WiW) 91 

Ivy I 

Jessamine 62 

Jonquil 60 

fonquil — Embroidered book-cover 60 

fonquil — Gesso panel 47 

Love-in-the mist 59 

Love-in-the-mist — Embroidered border 58 

Love-in-the-mist — Title-page of this book 

Lily (Arum) 100 

Lily (Arum) 101 

Lily (Wild Arum) 98 

Lily {Wild Arum) — Stencilled book-cover 99 

Lily (Bermuda Easter) p^rontispiece 

Lily — Wall paper dado 109 



xiv INDEX TO THE ILLUSTRATIONS 

TAGE 

Lily {Bermuda Easter) — Wall-paper dado in 

Lily — Gesso lock plate 52 

Lily (Candidum) Frontispiece 

Lily (Croceum) loS 

Lily (Martigon) 14 

Lily {Martigon) — Printed book-cover . 19 

Lily of the Valley 9 

Lily (Pomponicum) 108 

Lily (Scarborough) 62 

Lily {Scarborough) — Embroidered border 63 

Lily (Water) 104 

Lily ( IVater) — Eiiibroidered bord&r 63 

Lily {Water) — Stencilled diaper 103 

Mallow (Musk) 7 

Maple 69 

Marigold (Marsh) 96 

Marrow (Vegetable) 36 

Marsh Marigold 96 

Marsh Marigold — Stencilled diaper . . . , 97 

Mistletoe viii 

Narcissi 46 

Nasturtium 66 

Nasturtium — Embroidered doy ley 67 

Oak (English) 69 

Oak (Turkey) 69 

Pansy 13 

Passion Flower 82 

Passion Flower — Cretonne 81 

Pea (Everlasting) 87 

Pea (Garden) 87 

Pea {Garden)— Cretonne 86 

Pea (Sturt) 45 

Pear 93 

Peony 112 

Peony — Wall-paper 113 

Pink 51 

Poppy (Horned) . . , 4° 

Poppy {Horned) — Sprig pattern 39 

Poppy (Iceland) 114 

Poppy {Iceland) — Card Back 20 



INDEX TO THE ILLUSTRATIONS xv 

I'AGE 

Poppy {Iceland)— Wall-paper 115 

Poppy (Opium) 128 

Poppy {Opium) — Cretonne 83 

Poppy {Opium) — Embossed Tiles 129 

Poppy (Oriental) no 

Potato 102 

Primula 106 

Reed (Branched Bur) 57 

Reed (Paper) 57 

Rose (Christmas) 7~ 

Rose {Christmas)— Madras muslin . . . , 7- 

Rose (Japanese) 76 

Rose (Wild) 78 

Rose ( Wild)— Cretonne 79 

Rush (Flowering) 122 

Rush {Flowering) — Tile diaper 119 

Rush {Flowering) — Upright iile border 123 

Sea Holly 116 

Sea Holly— Wall-paper 117 

Seaweed 3° 

Seaweed 3^ 

Seaiveed — Border 32 

Snapdragon 61 

Snowdrop 80 

Sow Thistle 8 

Strawberry ^5 

Strawberry — Border 35 

Strawberry— Panel 24 

Sunflower 74 

Sunflower— Chenille hanging Tl 

Sunflower — Damask table doth 75 

Sunflower (Perennial) 16 

Teasel 118 

Teasel 120 

Teasel — Gesso frame 5^ 

Teasel— Tile diaper 121 

Thistle (Prickly Sow) 8 

Thistle (Scotch) 21 

Thistle {Scotch)— Spandril - 24 

Thistle (Giant) 16 

Thorn-apple 29 

Thorn-apple — Border 29 



xvi INDEX TO THE ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGE 

Tomato 102 

Tomato — SteiiciUed patiel 103 

Tropoeolum Claratum 67' 

Tulips 48 

Tulip— Card back 20 

Tiilip — Panel 22 

Ttilip — Border 26 

Tulip (Parrot) 44 

Tulip [Parrot) — Gesso panel 49 

Viola , 13 

Violet vii 

Vegetable Marrow 36 

Vetchling (Meadow) 18 

Vine 105 

Vine — Ceiling-paper 107 




Fig. 5. — Ivy. 

STUDIES IN PLANT FORM 
AND DESIGN 

CHAPTER I 

PRI^XI^LES OF DESIGN 

It is clear that no student will be able to invent a present- 
able piece of ornament until he has learned the difference 
between a good line and a bad one, between a fine form 
and a mean one, and between harmonious and vulgar colour. 
And although every one possesses this good taste in some 
degree, there is only one way in which a designer can develop 
it sufficiently for his needs ; he must read a little thoughtfully 
and diligently in Nature's infinite book of — ornament. Without 
this study of Nature principles are useless. But given this, they 
will help. 

The function of ornament is to add interest to construction ; 

B 



STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 6.— Dandelion. Flowers golden yellow. Height 15 inches. 



PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN 



so that perhaps there is, after 
all, only one "principle of orna- 
ment " — that it must be interest- 
ing. Interesting first because 
of its perfect fitness for its pur- 
pose ; so that it must never seem 
an unnecessary encumbrance on 
an object, it must appear to 
add to rather than detract from 
its usefulness. Then ornament 
must be interesting as an ex- 
pression of skill and craftsman- 
ship ; it must never seem 
laboured, it must seem to be 
done with ease. Above all it 
must be interesting as an ex- 
pression of life, and invention, 
and individuality, and yet never 
confused or hard to understand ; 
it must seem to be full of thought, 
but thought so simplified and 
ordered as to be followed with- 
out fatigue."^ Perhaps the other 
principles of ornament are really 
devices for helping the designer 
to fulfil this last requirement — 
to make the most of his inven- 
tion, and to give to his orna- 
ment clearness and unity. 

Let us see what principles 
Nature uses in one of her perfect 
bits of ornament, the leaf of the 
cyclamen, for instance (middle of 
Fig. io),and consider what makes 
it so successful as a design. 




Fig. 7. — Columbine. Two feet high. Flowers 
white to purple. 



■■ It is true that a certaia suggestion of mystery is sometimes most useful in 
design ; but it must be quite evident that the designer intends it to be a mystery, 
and does not expect us to unravel it. 

B 2 



STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 8. — Goatsbeard. Flowers yellow ; long green sepals 2 inches :;cros;. 



PRINXIPLES OF DESIGN 5 

First notice its striking outline — a bold uncommon curve, 
full of interest and variety from the nearly straight point to the 
full rounded spiral base ; and yet a curve which never hesitates 
about its path, which increases in curvature gradually and at a 
certain ordered rate throughout. This is an example of the 
great ^x'vazx'^XQ. oi gradation. If the student will consider how 
much of the beauty of a child's face is due to the subtle 
gradations of light and shade and colour, or how much more 




Fig. 9. — Escholtzia. Flowers golden yellow. Height 15 inches. 

beautiful is a perspective of a building, where the openings 
appear to gradually decrease as they recede from the eye, than 
the architect's elevation where they are all the same size, he 
Avill see how important this principle is, and how universal in its 
application. Notice next that the two sides of the leaf are 
symmetrical; the same curve is repeated on both sides, reversed 
in direction. So that the value and effect of every part of the 



STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 10.— Cyclamen. Flowers white and crimson. Height lo inches. 



■>^ 



PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN 



curve is doubled by being contrasted with the corresponding part 
on the other side. The human figure, a Greek vase, nearly all 
beautiful things are symnietrical, and symmetry will give com- 
pleteness and decorative value even to the least ornamental 
forms. Symmetry, too, is a very striking case of the universal 
device of contrast. Every one knows how the effect of forms 
and colours is enhanced by being placed side by side with widel}- 
differing forms and colours — as the 
purple cloud against the orange sky. 
The first thing we notice about 
the surface decoration of the leaf is 
that it consists of a number of spots 
evenly (not equall)') distributed over 
it. But looking at them more closely 
we shall see that the main spots are 
all pretty much alike in shape. If 
they w-ere not, each spot would re- 
quire special attention in order to 
make it out, which no one would 
think it worth while to give. And 
so the thing would become un- 
interesting because it would be so 
unwarrantably hard to understand. 
This repetition of parts gives an 
appearance of restfulness and unity 
to a composition (as do the columns 
of a temple) ; but it may be carried 
to excess and create monotony. In 
our leaf this danger is avoided by 
making all the spots rather different 
in size. And yet this variety is 
not introduced in any hap-hazard 

way; if it were, the design would again become uninteresting 
because of its confusion. Very much of a designer's art consists 
in so balancing his work that it never bores us either because of 
its monotony, or because of its confusion. In the leaf the spots 
gradiiallyhecome smaller from the base to the point, and so form 
an ornamental pattern — an example of forms not in themselves 




Fig. II.— Ii 



Musk Mallow. Leaves 2 
inches across ; flowers white, pink 
or purple. 



STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 12.— Prickly Sow Thistle. Thirty inches high. Yellow flowers. 



PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN 9 

beautiful becoming ornament by being thoughtfully arranged 
in obedience to the principles of repetition, variety, and 
gradation. 

The veins of the leaf give an example of radiation, another 
invaluable device for giving to a design unity and clearness 
without losing the interest of variety. To see how many 
beautiful things are designed on radiating lines, we have only 




Fig. 13.— Lily of the Valley. Flowers white. Running root-stock. 



to think of flowers, wings, shells, drapery, and so on. Notice 
too how the ends of the veins are curved round into the outline. 
This beautiful flow of one line into another is called composition 
of line, ^nd is of the utmost value in design, lying at the very 
root of the beauty of scrolls, and indeed all compositions of 
curved lines. 



STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 



Fig. 14. — Fuchsia. Flowers crimson, purple, white, and red. 



PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN ii 

So much for the principles to which ornament of every kind 
must conform. Now we must say a few w^ords about the 
ornamental treatment of natural forms in particular. 

A mere naturalistic copy of a plant on to an industrial 
object will not in itself form ornament. It will neither be 
interesting because of its fitness for its purpose (think of 
a spray of a plant used as a gas bracket, the stem turned 
into a gas pipe, the stamens into burners), nor will it be 
interesting as an expression of human thought and inven- 
tion. In order to become ornament, natural forms must be 
arranged in some orderly pattern ; they must be simplified 
so that their meaning may be easily grasped ; their decora- 
tive qualities must be expressed in the material in question 
in the most direct and effective way. The technical word is 
conventionalised. 

Before a designer uses a plant as ornament he will study 
most minutely its flowers and fruit, leaves and leaf junctions, 
even its roots, and then select and emphasise, perhaps exaggerate 
those features most suitable for his purpose. Yes, even exaggerate, 
for it is not necessary that a designer should have Nature's 
authority for every form he uses. The point is that there should 
never be less vigour, less fancy and individuality about his 
ornam.ental forms than there was in the natural forms which 
suggested them. 

It always gives an added interest to a design when we can 
trace the natural form from which the designer started. But 
even this interest may be lost and yet the ornament may be good. 
It is difficult to" say, for instance, what plant the Early English 
carved foliage most resembles. 

The extent to which the conventionalising process is carried 
must be largely a question of individual taste ; some people will 
prefer to see more of the artist's individuality, some more of the 
familiar charm of Nature. But beyond that the following con- 
siderations will be found important : — 

(i) The ornament on important structural feaures must be 
severe and conventional. The ornament in a spandrel or a panel 
should be much more naturalistic and picture-like than that on 
the piers and styles which carry them. 



STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN 



15 



(2) The more stubborn and difficult the material and process 
in which a design is carried out, the' more simple and conventional 
should be the ornament. . ^ ijp 

(3) There is something impossible and exasperating about 
the appearance of a vast number of literal copies of a plant over 

^ space, all showing exactly the same accidents of growth and 




W^ 



Fig. 16. — Pansy and Viola, i. White ; 2. crimson ; 3. purple ; 4. crimson and yellow: 
Height 6 inches. 



colour. So that we think the ornament should be more or less 
frankly conventional and non-natural in proportion as the repeat 
of the design is more or less frequent and obvious. 

In conventionalising natural forms one must be very careful 
to do it consistently. In a naturalistic treatment ©f a plant, for 



14 



STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 17.- — Crown Imperial. Flowers yellow or red. 
Height 3 feet. 



Fig. 18. — Martigon Lily. Flowers 
purple. Height 30 inches. 



PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN 



15 



instance, no liberties may be taken with its ^r^jx'//^ (Fig. no). 
When the stems are twisted in an arbitrary way, and the leaves 
made rigidly symmetrical in one part of a design, a naturalistic 
drawing of a flower must not be introduced in another. In fact, 
it must then be made quite obvious that the thing is intended for 
ornament and not for a representation of a plant (Fig. 131). 




Fig. 19.— Strawberrj-. Running growth. Flowers white ; leaves 6 inches across. 



i6 



STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 20.— Perennial Sunflower. Flowers Fig. 21.— Giant Thistle. Light bliie-green leaves. 

yellow ; 5 inches across. Flowers purple. Height 8 feet. 




Fig. 22. — Panel designed on the Blackthorn. 



CHAPTER II 



SPACE FILLING 



The first exercise in practical design a student will undertake 
is the simple filling of spaces with natural forms, arranged in 
obedience to the principles stated in the last chapter. 

The two things to be considered are, first, and most important, 
the masses : and, second, the lines connecting them. And to 
begin with, the masses must be evenly distributed over the space, 
neither all in one corner, nor on the other hand spotted about 
equally all over. It is well to arrange the principal mass rather 
above the middle of the panel, because this is the place one 
looks at first and it will appear empty if it is not made especially 
interesting. The secondary masses will reach towards the 
corners, another place where emptiness must be avoided. Then 
again the masses must be symmetrical ; if the two sides are not 
exactly alike they must at any rate be well balanced (Figs, j-i^ 
and 149). In fact all the principles of repetition, contrast, 
variety, &c., will more or less consciously come into play. 

C 



STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 23. — Buttercup. Golden flower. Fifteen inches high ; growth running or upright. 
Fig. 24. — Meadow Vetchhng. Golden flower ; leaves i inch across. 



h 



SPACE FILLING 



19 



In the same way, in order to secure harmony between the 
connecting lines and the outhne of the space, several of the 
principal ones must repeat {i.e. be parallel to) the outline. Or 
where this is not possible, as in Fig 149, the same end may be 
attained by a subsidiary border line, broken into by parts of the 
pattern. The lines must also harmonise with one another, they 
must obey some common law. Radiation is invaluable here ; 
the lines may either radiate from one point (Fig. 33), or from 
two (Fig. 34) or more, or from a horizontal line (Fig. 31), or 
radiate tangentially from a spiral or circular line (Fig. 36). 




Fig. 25. — Design for a cloth book-cover. 

Lastly, they must compose with each other. Nothing per- 
haps is more useful for tying a design together and giving it 
unity than composition of line. Lines should flow gently into, 
or be cunningly arranged in continuation of, one another, as the 
line of the shoulder is continued by the chin round the opposite 
cheek. They should form pathways along which the eye may 
wander till it rests contentedly on the more interesting points. 

When one line crosses another it should cross at right angles. 
If it crosses obliquely the eye will be led off from one to the 
other to the utter confusion of both ; besides, the resulting square- 

C 2 



20 STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 

ness gives a useful contrast to the curved lines, steach'ing them 
and preventing an unpleasant whirling look that designers are 
often troubled with. 

With the same object of steadying and strengthening a 
composition it is always well to introduce some straight lines 




Figs. 26 to 29. — Designs for card-backs, on the Poppy, Tulip, Dandelion, and Cyclamen. 



among the curved ones ; especially in designs not themselves 
bounded by straight lines (Fig. 35). 

We may call the students' attention here to some of the 
more common designers' devices and methods of treating the 
background. The use of a dark outline for defining forms is 



SPACE FILLING 




Fig. 33. — Daffodil. Height 12 inches. Yellow petals, orange trumpet. 



24 



STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 



details of a plant may be massed together over the background 
as the tendrils in Fig. 129. 

A pattern may be made more efYectlve by varying the tone 
of back-ground in a quite arbitrary manner as in Figs. 34 and 90, 
or lastly the colours of the pattern and ground may be S)-stemati- 





FiG. 34. — Panel based on Strawberry. 



Fig. 35. — Circle ornamented with 
Daffodil. 



cally hitercJianged, as in Fig. 66. This figure, by the way, 
illustrates very strikingly the greater richness of light on dark 
compared with dark on light. Notice how small the details look 
in the black on white part, although these are actually drawn 
larger than the others to allow for the spreading of light on the 
retina of the eye. 




Fig. 36. — Spandrel ornamented with Ihistle. 



SPACE FILLING 




Fig 37. —Hawthorn-blossom. White to pink. 



-pjorder designed on Tulip. 



CHAPTER III 



BORDERS 



A BORDER often forms a complete scheme of decoration in 
itself. The ornament on the book cover (Fig. 91), the plates 
(Figs. 49 and 53), and the title page of this book consists of 
borders only. In the embroidered table centre again (Fig. 90) 




Fig. 39. — Border based on Hawthorn. 



it may be best not to hide a beautiful material with ornament, 
and a border may give sufficient interest. When a border is 
used round other ornament it must serve the purpose that a 
picture frame serves — contrast and add value and compactness 
to the filling ; so that if this filling is severe the border may be 
interesting and important ; if on the other hand the filling is 



BORDERS 




and 



elaborate, then the border must be simple 
and severe (Figs. 112 and 116). To help 
in keeping the border distinct from the filling 
a subsidiary border of bands [and lines is 
often used (Fig. 112). Sometimes this 
:r border is broken into by the filling, as in Figs. 22 
148 (where the architectural mouldings would form the 




Fig. 41. — Hawthorn Stipules. 



main border), and sometimes by the main border itself, as in 
Fig. 40. These bands and lines, both inside and outside the 



28 



STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 42.— Chtysanthemums. Colours white, crimson, and j-ellow. 



BORDERS 



29 




borders, are very valuable, too, for tying the 
masses of ornament together (Fig. 90), and 
require very careful arranging. 

The border and filling, although distinct, 
must nevertheless appear to belong to the same scheme of 
decoration ; and to give this unity of effect it is well to com- 




FiG. 44. — Thorn-apple. Flowers white, 4 inchts long. 



pose the border of the same natural forms as the filling but 
differently treated (Figs. 112, 116, 160). 

In rectangular repeating borders the corner is the chief 
difficulty, and must be considered first. It will be found that 



STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 45. — Seaweeds, a, Sea Tongs, olive green, b, Narrow Ulva, green colour, c, Se 
Wrack, olive green, d, Horn Wrack, olive green. E, Twin-bladder Wrack, olive green. F, Kn^ 
Wrack, olive colour. G, Oar-weed, olive green. 



BORDERS 




^^6. ^Seaweeds, a, Sea-Oak, olive green. B, Gulf-weed, olive, c, Irish Moss, brown, purple, 
yellow, or green. D, Rhodymenia, crimson. E, Peacock's Tail, green. 



STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




the only sort of border which will run round the corner without 
alteration is one whose leading feature is a doubly symmetrical 
boss placed in the middle of the border (Fig. lOo). A border on 
the lines of alternating right-angled 
triangles will fit into the corner very 
well by leaving out one of the tri- 
angles (Fig. 43). A border based 
on a rhombus of 45' would also fit 
in all right, but the direction of the 

, 1,1 ,11 1 , Fig. 4S.— Border based on Cyclamen. 

growth would have to be changed at 

each corner and in the middle of the panel. If the border is 
chiefly composed of vertical elements like Fig. 90, one of these 
may be arranged diagonally at the corner without much altera- 





FiG. 49. — Border based on Convolvulus. 



tion. Another plan is to arrange the ornament so that it will 
dove-tail together at the corner (Fig. 47), or overlap the corner 
as Fig. 77. Or lastly the corner may be specially designed, as 
in Fig. 40. Whichever plan is adopted it should be remembered 



BORDERS 



33 




Fig. 50. — Convolvulus. Flowers white to pink, 2 inches across 
Fig. 51. — Bryony. Flowers green, berries red. 



D 



34 STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 

that the corner is structurally the weakest part of a frame, and 
the'ornament should appear to strengthen it and bind it together, 
and so must be heaviest and richest there. 




Fig. 52. — Canary Creeper. Flowers yellow ij inches long. 

We give an example (Fig. 54) of a border applied to a cup 
for the purpose of illustrating how the pattern may be projected 
on to a curved surface. It will be seen that there are a number 




Fig. 33. — Canarj- Creeper border. 



BORDERS 



of vertical lines drawn over the pattern corresponding to equal 
divisions drawn on the plan of the curved form (i, 2, 3, 4, 5) ; 
these are crossed by a convenient number of horizontal lines 







Fig. 54. — Border based on the Strawberry. 



(A, B, C, D, E). The vertical lines are projected from the plan 
on to the elevation, the cross lines put in, and the design drawn 
freehand in each of the foreshortened spaces. 



D 2 



36 



STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 





Fig. 56.— Bartonia Aurea. Golden flowers. Height 15 inches, upright or running. 



CHAPTER IV . 

ALL-OVER PATTERNS 

The simplest form of all-over patterns is the diaper (Fig. 64). 
Here the ground is divided up into squares, circles, hexagons, 
or other figures, and each figure is filled tightly with a pattern, 




Fig. 57. — Spot and powder pattern based on Bartonia. 



38 



STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 58. — Campanula, white and blue. Height 30 inches. 

Fig. 59. — Astiantia. Horny petal.s, green outside, pink inside. Height 24 inches. 

Fig. 60. — Cornflower. Floret white, purple, or blue. Height 24 inches. 



ALL-OVER PATTERNS 



39 




Fig. 6i. — Sprig pattern. Horned Poppy and Goose Grass. 

either complete in itself or growing out of the adjoining" figure 
(Fig. 66). If only one figure is filled up at intervals, a "spot" 




Fig. 62. — Goose Grass. Running growth ; leaf whorls 2 inches across. 



pattern is formed ; if the dividing lines are omitted and the 
ground covered with a powdering of a small or simple device. 



40 



STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 



we have a ''spot and powder" pattern (Fig. 57) ; and when the 
spot takes the form of spray of foliage, the design is called a 
"sprig" pattern (Fig. 61). Fig. 66 is an intermediate form of 
pattern between a diaper and what Mr. Jackson calls a free 




Fig. 63.— Horned Poppy. Flowers yellow. 



J 



all-over ; that is, one in which the ornament grows freel}- over the 
ground and the repeat is not noticeable. 

An all-over pattern may either repeat side to side, as in Fig. 
64, or it ma)- be " dropped " and the adjoining repeat placed half 
its depth lower down than its neighbour (Figs. 114, 119, 121, 124, 
&c.). When flowers or other striking features are repeated over a 



ALL-OVER IWTTERNS 



41 



large surface, their repetition is likely to develop unforeseen lines 
across the pattern, and the dropping of the repeat largely prevents 
this. 

Fig. 164 shows how a free all-over may be schemed as a drop 
pattern. A diamond is drawn the full width and the full height 




Fic. 64. — Diaper based on the Daffodil. 



of the repeat, and the ornament planned so that the top right 
hand of the diamond fits accurately on to the bottom left hand, 
and the top left on to the bottom right-hand side. 

The accuracy of the repeat in free all-over patterns may be 



42 



STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 6;.— Fungi. From Sowerby's models in British Museum. 



ALL-OVER PATTERNS 



43 



secured cither b\- tracing one repeat and fitting it on to all four 
sides of the design, or b}- the well-known device of cutting the 
design into four and fitting the right-hand edge to the left and 
the top to the bottom. 




Fig. 66. — Interchange pattern founded on Blackthorn. 



44 



hTCDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 67. — Parrot Tulip. Flowers very large, all -hade; of yellow and red. 




Fig. 68. — Sturt Pea. Grotesque vermilion flowers, 3 inches long, with purple petals in centre. 

Climbing growth. 



CHAPTER V 

GESSO 

Gesso work ma}- be described as modelling zi'ith a brush 
whilst the material is in a liquid state. There are several ways 
of preparing the gesso. For small work that known as gesso 
duro is perhaps the best. It is made of whiting soaked in 
water, glue, and boiled linseed oil, with the addition of a little 
resin. Another recipe is : plaster of Paris and size with a little 
glycerine; this has to be used very quickl}-, as it soon dries. 
Both these are kept in a liquid state by standing the vessel in 
hot water. Alabastine is a most useful read}--made form of gesso, 
which requires only to be mixed with cold water and sets 
slowly. It is also sold in various colours. Denoline, a similar 
preparation, is recommended by Mr. Walter Crane. 



46 



STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 6q. — 



Karcissi. a white flower, cream-coloured centre ; ii white, yellow centre with crimson 
margin ; c yellow, orange centre"; d yellow. Height from 8 to i8 inches. 



GESSO 



47 



In beginning, if the 
ground is of a porous 
nature, as wood or plaster, 
it must be first coated with 
lacquer or varnish. The 
design is drawn or traced 
upon it, and then it is laid 
in a horizontal position to 
receive the gesso. This is 
mixed into the consistency 
of cream, and is applied 
with a long sable brush, 
known as a rigger, which 
should always be well 
charged and held perpen- 
dicularly, and the liquid 
gesso floated on to the 
design. Relief is obtained 




Fig. 70. — Bluebell. 



Height 8 inches. 
or blue. 



Flowers white 




Fig. 71. — Gesso panel 
(Jonquil). 



b\- going over the same pattern repeatedly 
as soon as the coat underneath is fairly tacky. 
This is the proper way to work gesso for it 
should ultimately appear quite textureless ; 
and if the mixture is too stiff brush marks 
and other unevennesses will result. \\'hen 
the ornament is in higher relief like Fig. yT), 
the gesso must be mixed stiffer, and cotton 
wool or tow, pulled out into small pieces, 
must be added to strengthen the mass. 
Before it sets gesso can be modelled with 
the fingers, or with the modelling tool kept 
well oiled, and when dry may be scraped 
down and carved with a knife — but this 
departs from the character of gesso work, 
which should be kept as simple and direct 
as possible. 

Before colouring gesso work one should 
be quite sure that the colour is an improve- 



48 



STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




GESSO 



49 



ment — it is often best without. A good plan is to repeatedly 
coat the work with white bees' wax dissolved in turpentine, 
or brown or white shellac dissolved in methylated spirits or 
naphtha ; or, again, with linseed oil. Any of these methods 




Fic. 73. — Gesso panel based on Parrot Tulip. 



will slightly colour the gesso, and also tend to harden the 
surface. If the waxed method is properly done, and a hot 
iron held a little distance from it to drive the preparation into 
the plaster, the surface will bear polishing, when dry, wnth a silk 

1: 



50 



STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 74— Autumn Anemone. Height 30 inches. Flowers white with yellow stamens. 



GESSO 



51 



rag. The wax may be coloured by mixing with it powdered 
colours, but, if a flat tone is desired, tempera colours may be 
painted on, or watercolour applied with a spray diffuser. If oil- 
colour is used it should be very thinly laid on, or rather flooded 
on, with varnish or turpentine, the work being first waxed as 
above to prevent absorption. A good effect is obtained by 





Fig. 75.— White Pink. Height 9 inches. 



Fig. 76. — Garden Anemone. Flowers 
crimson. Height 8 inches, i 



wiping off the colour in the raised parts with a rag,' leaving the 
darker colours in the hollows. It may be mentioned that a fair 
amount of dry colour may be mixed with the gesso without 
injuring its setting properties. 

Gesso work may be partly or wholly covered with gold or 
other metal leaf, with one or more coatings of hard drying 

E 2 



52 



STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGxN 




Fig. 73.— Design for lock 
plate based on the Lily. 



GESSO 



53 



varnish to preserve it. Oilcolour may be used transparently- 
over these metals. Work begun in tempera may be finished in 




Fig. 79— Ox-eye Daisy. Heights feet. Flowers white, yellow centres 



oil. We may add that it is never desirable to sacrifice the white 
of the material to white paint. 

The tea.sel design (Fig. -j-j) is intended to be in low relief in 
the hollow moulding of a frame. The lock-plate (Fig. 78) is for 



54 STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN \ 

low relief on well-seasoned wood or tough mill-board covered 
with a thin layer of gesso, and should be either treated with waJc 
or the leaf-metals lacquered. 




Fig. So.— Wood Anemone. Height S inches. Flowers white. 



GESSO 



55 




< 




-Crocus. Flowers 6 Inches high — yellow, purple, and white. 



CHAPTER \T 



EMBROIDERY 



Embroidery may be defined as the enriching and setting 
off of beautiful material by means of needlework. The 
embroideress should consider how this definition affects her 
design. She will understand why she instinctively places always 
a richer material on a poorer, never a poorer on a richer. So 
that, while silk maybe placed on linen ^ or canvas, wool on linen, 
or even silk on silk and linen on linen, she must never place 
linen or wool threads on silk. 



^ Langdale hand-made linen is specially recommended for embroidery by Mrs. 
May Morris Sparling. 



EMBROIDERY 



57 




Fig. 84.— Branched Burr Reed. Fig. S7.— Sea Couch Grass. 

Fig. 85.— Feather Grass. Fig. 83.— Paper Reed. 

Fig. 86.— White Darnel. Fig. 89 —Cotton Grass, 

(from Gerarde's Herbal). 



58 



EMBROIDERY 




Fig. 90.— Border for table centre in appliqud embioidery. Suggested by Love-in-the-Mist. 

She will see, too, that in order to make the most of her rich 
material, it is best to adopt light, open patterns, and use solid 
filling in stitches as sparingly as possible. This last however 




Fig. 91. — Embroidered book-cover based on Crocus. 

must not be taken as a hard and fast rule. In a very effective 
kind of work, for instance, called '' outlining and darning," the 
background is entirely covered with close stitches and the pattern 
left plain. 



EMBROIDERY 



59 




Fig. 92. — Love-in the-Mist. Petals ot flowers 5 to 20, while to blue. Height 18 inches. 



6o 



STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 93. — Embroidered book-cover based on 
Jonquil. 

The essential qualities of 
all good needlework, says Airs. 
Sparling, " are a broad sur- 
face, bold lines and pure, 
brilliant and as a rule simple 
colouring." There are other 
considerations too, which, im- 
portant as they are in all 
sorts of ornament, are more 
than ever important in em- 
broidery. For instance — never 
forget the conditions under 
which the work is to be seen ; 
do not squander fine and 
delicate work on a wall hang- 
ing or a banner, you will only 
make it niggling and ineffec- 
tive. For that kind of w^ork 
consider chiefly, and empha- 
sise well, the vital lines and 



masses of the design, and re- 
serve minute and dainty work- 
manship for tablecloths, doy- 
leys, and objects near the eye. 

Again it is always well in de- 
coration to keep the elements of 
the design distinct and separate, 
and to avoid, as much as possible, 
the appearance of one object 




Fig. 94. — Jonquil. Eighteen inches high. Flowers 
cream-coloured with yellow centres. 



EMBROIDERY 



6i 





Fig. 95. — Gladiolus Colvillii. Purple, white, or 
pink. Height 24 inches. 



Fig. 96 — Snapdragon. Flowers^white to 
deep crimson. Height 2 feet. 



62 



STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 97. — Scarborough Lily. Orange flowers on flat stem. 




Fig, 9S. —Jessamine. Flowers white : leaves 5 Inches long 



EMBROIDERY 



63 





5551 



a' 



being behind an- 
other; but in cm- 
broidery where 
there are no 
sharp edges, and 

where the needle must be rethreaded for each 
colour, overlapping should be especially avoided. 
Fig. 91 errs on the wrong side in this respect. 

Let the colours of the 
thread be as brilliant as pos- 
sible. Colours are glaring, not 
because they are bright, but 
because they are inharmonious. 
Good taste in colour can only 
be acquired by the (conscious 
or unconscious)study of Nature. 
One hint may be given — keep 
on the blue, green, and crimson 
side of the scale, and avoid the 
abundant use of orange and 
light red. A valuable device 
for correcting a want of har- 
mony between two adjoining 
masses of colour is an outline of 
a contrasting colour round both. 
If possible obtain threads 
dyed with kermes, cochineal, 
indigo, and other organic dyes. 
Avoid aniline dyes, because 
they fade and also because 
their colours are vicious. The 
threads sold by the School 
(Scai-borough of Embroidery at Leek are 
strongly recommended. 
Much of the charm of embroidery depends on 
the fancifulness and ingenuity of the stitches employed. We 
give a few of these, but the number that can be invented by the 
embroideress is almost infinite. 



Fig. 99. — Emhroidered border 
of hanging 
Lily). 



Fk;. 100. — Border 
for embroidery 
based on Water 
Lily. 



64 



STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. ioi. — Spanish Iris. Blue, yellow, and white. Height 30 inches. 



EMBROIDERY 



67 



A very important variety of embroidery is known as 
applique. Here some of the masses of the design are embroidered 




Fig. 105. — Tropaiolum Claratum. Flowers orange. Climbing growth. 

on some stout material (or a stuff backed with a stout material) 
with gold or silk threads. These are then cut out and secured 




Fig. iod. — Embroidered Doyley (Nasturtium). 

to the silk or other ground by threads of the same kind, or by 
an edging cord. The design may be connected by^ lines of 
ornament worked on the ground (Fig. 90). 

F 2 



68 STUDIES IX 1 LANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 107. — Horse Chestnut. 
Fig. 108. ^Japanese Honeysuckle. Flowers crimson with orange stamens. 




Fig. 109. — English Oak, Holly, Oak apj^Ies, Hazel, Maple, Turkey Oak. 



CHAPTER VII 



TEXTILES 



Textiles are compo-sed of two sets of yarns crossing at 
right angles ; the longitudinal ones are called the warp, and those 
thrown into the warp, by means of the shuttles, are called the 
weft. It is evident that, for the shuttle to get between the 
stationary warp, some of the yarns must be raised, and this is 
brought about in figured work by an invention known as the 
Jacquard loom. This is controlled by a set of perforated cards, 
the perforations being disposed according to the pattern. The 



70 



STUDIES IN PLANT FORAI AND DESIGN 




KiG no. — Tapestry hanging basedoii Honeysuckle. 27 inches acro'is. 



TEXTILES 



71 



pierced card comes in front of a series of pins. Some of these 
pass through the holes in the card and hberate a number of Hnes, 




/ ' 



Fig. III. — Honeysuckle. Flowers crimson outside, yellow inside. 

each of which is connected with a particular warp. The Hnes, 
draw up their warps, the others remain horizontal and the 
shuttle passes between them. 




Fig. 112. — Madras muslin (Christmas Rose). Repeat 18 by 9 inches. 



' The weft is usually composed of richer and costlier material 
than the warp, and is used to form the most prominent part of 



STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




TEXTILES 



73 



the pattern. A cUfferent shuttle of course is used for each colour 
(sometimes as many as six at a time, though two or three are 
more common) but by " planting " the flowers and various 
coloured details in alternating horizontal rows (Fig. 112) more 
colours may be used without increasing the number of shuttles 
used at the same time, and so without increasing- the cost. These 




Fig. 114. — Chenille hanging based on Sunflower. 36 inches wide. 



rows of colours may be so cunningly interwoven with a common 
ground colour that no unpleasant effect will be noticed. In 
materials used for hangings, however, horizontal lines are not 
objectionable ; in fact horizontal, oblique, and large curved lines 
look well running round the folds and bringing out their form, 
only predominant vertical lines, which would confuse the forms 



74 STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AXU DESIGN 




Fig. 115.— Sunflower. Petals yellow, centre yellow to brown. Height 6 feet. 



TEXTILES 



75 



of the folds, should be avoided. It should not be forgotten, by 
the way, that in an open textured material (which is really a 
minute chequer of warp and weft) lines which are only slightly 
curved and kre nearly vertical or horizontal are liable to come 
out quite straight owing to the step-like formation of the 
stitches. 

In designing for woven fabrics adopt simple, clear-cut masses 




of tone and colour, with w^hat Mr. William Morris calls " Gothic 
crispness of detail," avoid shading, and rely, for richness and 
variety of colour, oil the play of light and shade on the texture 
and folds of the material. 

The width of most woven materials is a number of quarter- 
yards, so that the designer will be safe in making his repeat a 
multiple of 9 in. in width. Silk must have a divisor of 67, in. 
for^the width of repeat. The length of the woven repeat is 



76 STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 

limited only by cost of card cutting, &c. When a border is 
woven with the fabric, one must be very careful to make its 




Fig. 117. — Japanese Rose. White and pink, scarlet fruit. 

repeat equal to, or a divisor of, that of the filling. (Figs. 112 
and 116). 

The varieties of woven fabrics are almost endless, the follow- 
ing are among the most important : — 



\ 



\ 



TEXTILES 



n 




V 



Fig. iiS. — Horse Chestnut. Flowers white or pink. Fruit i\ inches across. 




Fig. 119 — Silk brocade based on Canary Creeper. 



78 



STUDIEf^ IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




TEXTILES 79 

Dajfiask. In linen material the tones are obtained merely by 
the play of light on the weft, which forms the pattern, and shade 
on the warp, which forms the ground (Fig. ii6). In damask- 
curtains and silk damasks, the pattern is more closely woven than 
the ground, which has a satin look. The pattern, being less rich 
in effect than the ground, should be small. 

Brocatelle and Silk Brocade (Fig. 1 19) have on the other hand 




Fig. 121. — Cretonne based on Wild Rose. 



the pattern raised or puffed as in embroidered satin stitch, and this 
should be made the most of. 

Real Tapestry is a fabric worked by hand into the tightly 
stretched warp, differing from embroidery in being worked into 
the material, instead of upon the finished web ; but the term 
tapestry is commonly applied to a material used for hangings and 
furniture coverings, and made of cotton, or wool, or both, and 



8a 



STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




sometimes mixed with silk (Fig. 
no). In the cheaper sorts 
coloured warps are used, and 
take an important part in form- 
ing the pattern. 




Fig. i2j. — Snowdrop. Flowers white with 
green marl<ings. Height 6 inches. 



Madras muslin (Fig. 112) is 

woven with a ground of a fine 

open web into which one or 

more shuttles bearing yarns of 

coarser material are introduced. 

Where it is not required in the pattern this coarser yarn 

floats free, and is afterwards sheared off. For the narrow 

folds of this light and flexible material small and broken 



Fig. 122. ^Indian Corn (from Gerard^s 
Herbal). Height 5 feet. 



TEXTILES 8i 

up patterns with plent\- of open-work ground are evidently 
best. 

CJienilk (Fig. 1 14) is a fabric composed of heavy cut pile. In 
this material the pattern is alread}- printed upon the wood threads 
before they are woven into the cotton warp. The colours here 
may be unlimited ; massive simple patterns are those most 
suitable. 

Most fabrics — as silks, cretonnes, muslins, floorcloths — may 
be ornamented by printing in coloured dyes, either from blocks. 




Fig. 124. — Cretonne (Passion Flower and Goose Grass). 



which are used for the better materials and give the softer and 
richer effect, or from copper rollers, which are used for the 
cheaper sorts of textiles. A system of printing on jute from 
india-rubber rollers, which has artistic possibilities, has lately 
been invented by Mr. Webb, of Manchester. Our remarks 
on the design of woven patterns appl}- prett\- much to printed 
ones, except that one is here allowed more variety of broken 
colour and finer detail, owing to the facilities for hatching, 
dotting, overlapping the transparent dyes, &c. 

G 



82 



STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 125. — Passion Flower. Flowers white and blue, 4 inches across. 



TEXTILES 



■83 



Especially is this the case i'n fabrics printed by machinery 
from metal rollers on which the pattern is engraved. Here 
by the free use of stippling and shade lines of varying strength, 
and by the use of two or more rollers carrying the same 
colour, but differently engraved, the most elaborate gradations 
of shading and realism of detail may be obtained. In fabrics 
printed from blocks, fine lines engraved in wood would soon 
wear out or swell up unevenly on the application of the wet 




Fig. 126.— Cretonne (Poppy Leaves and Grass) (30 inches wide). 



colour, but even here considerable fineness of detail is possible 
by the use of brass wire and pins as described in the chapter 
on wall papers (Chapter IX.). 

But although elaborately naturalistic details are possible 
(and also most popular) in printed fabrics, they cannot be 
defended, either on the ground of economy or of good 
taste. 

A manufacturer will print a design from one set of blocks 
in a large number of different schemes of colour, and it is 

G 2 



84 



STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 127. — Blackberrj'. 



TEXTILES 85 

evident that for this purpose the details cannot be too simple 
and conventional. Moreover, as explained in the first chapter, 
naturalistic forms mechanically repeated over a space can 
never make good ornament. 

Every tone and colour is, of course, printed from a separate 
block or roller. To make these, tracings of each piece of 
colour have to be taken from the designer's drawing, and to 




Fig. 128. — Cretonne based on Blackberry (30 inches wide). 



prevent disappointment it is advisable to assist the tracer by 
leaving a definite edge to each bit of colour in the design. 

The colours used for printed fabrics (except floorcloths) 
are transparent, so that an increased number of shades may 
be got by superimposing one colour on another ; but the 
chemical action of the dyes on each other is such that super- 
position is best avoided, except in unimportant details, by 
all but experienced men. 



86 



STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 123. — Design for printed CoLton based on the Pea (diamond repeat, 30 X 21 inches). 



TEXTILES 



87 




Fig. 



-Garden Pea. Five_Peta's (i large standard over 2 ala;, enclosing 2 smaller petals), white 
to pink. Everlasting Pea. Five to 10 flowers on a stalk, white or red. 



88 



STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 



Cretonne cloth is 30 in. wide, and the repeat for block print- 
ing must not be more than 21 to 24 in. long; the roller-printed 
repeat may be 15 to 34 in. long. 




Fig. 131 — Printed Muslin suggested by Honeysuckle (30 inches wide). 



TEXTILES 



89 




Fig. 132. — German Iris. Flowers white or blue. Height 24 inches. 






•^^ 



'Mm, 



Fic. 133 — Stencil Frieze; Iris pattern. 



CHAPTER VIII 



STENXILLING 



A STENCIL plate is well known as a perforated piece of card 
or paper, the perforations forming either the pattern or the 
background. It is not, however, until one has studied the 
productions of the Japanese — those masters of this as well as many 
other arts — that its scope is realised. An examination of their 
work shows the possibility of getting the most delicate patterns 
as well as the broad effects necessary for wall decoration. Some 
of their most intricate productions, however, through necessary 
cutting away, are so fragile that not enough paper remains 
to hold them together ; they are therefore made in two sheets 
cut out together, and fastened between them is a la\-er of hair or 
silk threads, which do not show in the painted impressions. 

The best kind of cartridge paper is good to make the plate 
of, though we ourselves prefer thin Bristol board, that known as 
" two sheet." It is tougher, and a cleaner edge is obtained. The 



STEN'CILLING 



91 




Fig. 134.— Wild Iris. Tliree feet high. Flowers yellow. German Iris. Flowers pale yellow. 

Height 30 inches. 



92 



STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 



oiled paper used for copying presses is still better and does not 
require sizing. The pattern drawn upon this is cut out on glass with 
a sharp knife having a square point. The Japanese manner is to 




Fig. 135. — Purple Iris. Eighteen inches high. Scarlet berries. 



push the knife forward as the engraver uses the burin. Small 
regular spaces are punched in with small punches, which are easily 
made out of small metal tubes. The least desirable material to 
use is the metal. The accidental bending up of the more delicate 



STE.XCILLIN'G 



93 




APPLE BLOSSOM 

Fig. 136. — Apple. Flowers pink and white. 




PEAR SLOSSOM 



Fig. 137.— Pear. Flowers white. 



94 



STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 



parts can rarely be successfully straightened out again. When 
finished and before using, the Bristol board plate must be sized 
on both sides with a spirit varnish ; that known to druggists as 

•" knotting" is the best. 




CRRS-APPU: 



Fig. 13S. — Crab Apple. Flowers white to pink. 



In designing a stencil plate its limitations must be recognised 
from the first. An important requirement is that the whole must 
be held together by a series of ties. These must not be in the 
form of crude or unsightly breaks, but should form part of the 
design, and must be provided for from the commencement. They 



STENCILLING 



95 



should not be painted over on the impressions ; that would only 
tend to make the pattern look like a rather wooden piece of 
hand-painted decoration. The ties should be accepted as a 
necessary condition of the craft (like the lead lines in a stained 
glass window), and the difficulties of their arrangement faced and 



i 

A /Ilk 


4^ 






i 






Pi 




1 

r 
4 


fe 


( 


^m^^ 






S 


IQ 












^P 


P 1 

. i" 


mi 


w 


i 


ir 




^■ttSiOSi:^ 


^^^^^1 




. ^ 


g^ 


^It^ 




lAtvP ^C 



Fig. i39.^Diaper pattern based on the Crab Apple, suitable for wall decoration. 



overcome. It is just this sense of difficulties overcome by human 
thought and invention that adds tenfold to the charm and interest 
of all the applied arts, and it is just the absence of this that 
makes the vast mass of modern machine-made, cheap decora- 
tion so vulgar and uninteresting. The stencil ties should be 
used to form the drawing of the design, to outline the petals of 
the flowers (Fig. 141), or form the veins of the leaves, or be 



96 



STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 



arranged in a pattern over the background (Fig. 149). When 
tlie stems are too long to hold together without a tie in their 
length, advantage may be taken of the leaf junctions (Fig. 148), 
or the wrinkles in the wood (Fig. 139), or the twist in the growth 




MARSH ;iar:60ld 



F:g. 140. — ISIarsh Marigold. Flowers golden yellow. Upright or running growth. Height 12 inches. 



which is such a characteristic feature of some plants such as the 
vine' or the vegetable marrow. 

The brushes required for use are round stumpy ones of soft 
hog-hair, and the colour is applied by dabbing. If it is a hard 
even surface that is to be ornamented the same colours used for 
the ground must be used, oil or tempera as the case may be ; 



STEN'CILLING 



97 




Fig. 141. — Design for diaper based on the Marsh Marigold. 



H 



98 STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 

and practice alone will teach the consistency of the colour, and 
the exact amount with which to charge the brush so that it will 
not spread underneath the plate and blur the pattern. 

Besides wall decorating, stencil patterns may be used for the 
enrichment of all kinds of fabrics, from common sackcloth to 
fine silk. D}-es are used for this purpose. Messrs. Lechertier, 
Barbe, and Co. of Regent Street, make a permanent d\-e, known as 




WILD RRUr-i 



Fig. 142.— Wild Arum. Twelve inches high. Purple flower spike enclosed in green spathe. Berries 

bright scarlet. 



tapestry colour, that does excellently for this work. For use on 
coarse material, as canvas or the arras cloths, which are not 
likely to require washing, oil-colour which has had the greater 
part of the oil removed on blotting paper, and has been after- 
wards thinned down with turpentine, does ver}- well. It is soon 
evident when stencilling on cloth how much colour or d\-e — which 



STENCILLING 



99 



is used very thin — may be used in the brush without spreading 
under the plate. 

The Japanese, who use nearly all their stencil patterns to 
decorate textiles, have another way of using their plates. The 
pattern is stencilled on with a " resist " — a substance composed 
mainly of starch paste. This protects the material from the action 
of the dye, and when the stuff has been dipped in the dye this 
















Fig. 143.— Stencilled design for cloth book cover based on the Wild Arum. 



"resist" is washed away, and the pattern remains in the original 
colour of the fabric. 

Stencil plates are sometimes used in pairs, or more ; one 
forming perhaps the background and the other printed on the 
top in another colour ; but w^ith a bold pattern several colours 
may be used on one plate. 

One of the most delightful features of stencil decoration is the 
ease with which beautiful effects of broken and varied colour may 

H 2 



ibo STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 



Fig. 144. — Arum Lily. 



STENCILLING loi 

be obtained from one plate. The colours used in two adjoining 
repeats may be alternated, or a gradation of colour may be 
arranged between one part of the work and another. The 
colouring of Fig. 149, for instance, might range from rich dark 
tones at the bottom, to lighter shades at the top ; and a variety 
of shades might be introduced in the flowers in Fig. 141. The 
superiority of wall hangings stencilled by hand with tender 




Fig. 145. — .\rum Lily. Flower spike yellow, enclosed by white spathe. 



broken colours, over those mechanically printed from rollers, has 
been well demonstrated by Mr. Arthur Silver and other con- 
tributors to the Arts and Crafts Exhibition. 

Of the designs we give, the diaper (Fig. 141) is for textile 
and might be executed in two tones of one colour, or two colours 
gray in tone. The Iris frieze and the spot and powder pattern 
(Figs. 133 and 139) are for wall decoration. Fig. 149 is to be 



I02 STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 146. — Tomato. Flowers yellow. Fruit yellow to scarlet. 
Fig. 147. — Potato. Flowers purple white. Fruit green. 



STEx\CILLING 



103 




Fig. 14S. — Stencil pr.nel based on Tomato. 









m 



m ^afM_r^.^';-^^JWfS^^^7!Sr^^!^/'iS^St\^ fggL t;'.^^:^ i^^^ 




^ib^^m s g ■'^ I ■ ^ ' Lrr^^ '^g s ? '■—^^3'^ .*a*^;i s ?€sss^21 






Fig 14s —Water Lily stencil for wall hanging 



I04 



STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 



stencilled on a light-coloured cloth with a darker tone of the 
same colour. The door panel (Fig. 148) might be done in one or 
more colours. 




Fig. 150. — Water Lily. Flower.s white with gold centre. Leaves 12 inches long. 



STENCILLING 





F:g. 152. — Primula. Height to inches. Flowers white to crimson. 



CHAPTER IX 



WALL PAPERS 



Wall papers may be divided into those for the dado, the 
filling, the frieze, and the ceiHng. 

The dado is the supporting member, and therefore the 
ornament may be heavy in mass or tone, but must be extremely 
simple and severe in form ; it is moreover too low down for any 
careful examination of an elaborate pattern. The frieze should 
be bold and heavy in treatment, as it is to be seen at a greater 
distance, and forms a border for thp filling ; it should contain 
lines appearing to give support \o the cornice above. The 
." filling " of the space between the dado and frieze should always 
appear flat ; anything in the nature of. strong spots or violent 
contrast of tone or colour must be avoided, partly because these 
would have an unpleasant effect of cutting into and weakening 



WALL PAPERS 



107 



the wall, and partly because the filling has to serve as a 
background for pictures, and must not compete with them 
in value. 

Wall papers are printed from blocks or rollers 2 1 inches wide, 
on paper 22 inches wide ; the length of the block may be rather 




Fig. 153.— Ceiling paper based on the Vine. 



more or less than 21 inches, but not much more, or the block 
would become unwieldy for the hand printer. In machine workj 
where a roller is used, it is not desirable to go beyond 17 inches 
in the length. The frieze is generally 7, io|, or 21 inches 
wide. 



io8 STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




P"lG. 134. — Lilium Croceum. Flowers orange, leaves in helical cur\'e up stem. Height 36 Inches. 
Fig. 155. — Lilium Pomponicum. Two to four yellow flowers greatlj- reflexed. Twenty-four inches 

high. 



WALL PAPERS 



109 



The repeat of a pattern should either be clearly seen, and a 
feature made of it, or it should be not noticeable. When the 
repeat of the design is obvious, the more conventional the design 
the better (Chap. I.). 

An important device for making the repeat unobtrusive 
is that known as stepping or dropping the pattern (see Chapter 
IV.). 




Fig. 156. — Dado design based on Lilies. 



It would appear at first glance that the limit of 21 inches 
restricts the width ; but if a " step " or " drop " pattern is arranged 
within a space like the sketch over-leaf, so that the ornament in 
the spaces A A when placed together in the next piece of paper 
by the side of space B forms the complete pattern within a 
diamond, then the pattern will be really 42 inches wide (Fig. 
164). Again, if the design in the one space of 21 inches is 



STUDIES IN PLANT FOR^I AND DESIGN 




Fig. 157. — Oriental Poppy. Six scarlet petals, black at base. Height 40 inches. 



WALL PAPERS 



symmetrical on a diagonal line, then the block may be swung 
round a quarter at each impression, thus forming a pattern 
42 inches square (see sketch). 




A^;^< 




' — 4I«— . 



Care should be taken when colouring a design to use as few 
colours as possible, as a separate block is required for each colour 
and another for the outline. Some of the most successful designs 




Fig. 



-Dado based on Lily. 



are those executed in monochrome, or in one colour on a paper 
of another colour. 

In making the actual block, the design is transferred upon it, 



STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 159 — Peony. Five unequal sepals ; 5, 10, or more petals, crimson to white. All parts very 

irregular in growth. 



WALL PAPERS 




Fig. i6o. — Wall paper and frieze based on Peony. Repeat 21 inches by loj incljes 



114 



STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




(AlvD. 



Fig. i6i. — Iceland Poppy. Height about lo inches. Colour white, red, and yellow. 



WALL PAPERS 



115 



and the parts which are required on this particular block coloured 
in. The workman then proceeds to cut away the background in 
much the same manner as a woodcut is produced, the outline 
being formed by flat brass wire driven edgeways into the wood. 
In the cheaper kinds of paper, which are printed b)- machinery, the 




Fig. 162. — Design for wall paper 011 the Iceland Poppy. Repeat loj inches by 16 inches. 



different colours are printed at once, the paper passing under the 
rollers in succession. 

A much more expensive wall paper is that stamped in relief, 
to imitate stamped leather : in this method the paper is stamped 
into a mould, and is afterwards usually gilt and lacquered, or 
treated in a variety of ways by colouring. 

I 2 



ii6 STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fir,. 163.— Sea Holly. Twsnty-four inches high. Blue leaves and florets 



WALL PAPERS 



117 



In wall papers, as in all other sorts of decoration, very much 
depends on the colours employed, more, perhaps, even than on 
the form of the design. Fig. 162, for instance, might be made 
very unsuitable for wall decoration by the injudicious use of 
contrasting colours, and especially of contrasting tones. The 
ceiling paper, too (Fig. 153), in the black and white necessary for 
reproduction would be far too strong for its purpose, and in 
practice would be printed in two very light shades of the same 
colour. Ceiling papers, by the wa}', must be designed so that 
they do not look upside down when seen from either end of the 
room. 




Fig. 164. — Wall paper founded on Sea Holly. Illustrating- arrargement of d7-op />atter}t. 
Repeat 42 inches by 21 inches. 



ii8 STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 165. — Teasel. 




Fig. 166. — Tile diaper suitable for dado. 



CHAPTER X 



TILES 



Tiles may be used for decorating 
walls, rcredoses, splays, jambs, friezes, and 
hearths of fireplaces, cabinet work, pave- 
ments, and many other purposes. They 
are generally 6 to 8 inches square, but 
are also made in hexagonal, octagonal, 
and other shapes. Most tiles, whether 
plain, printed, or in relief, are made by 
pressing powdered cla)- into the moulds ; 
this is done to ensure the least possible 
warping and uneven shrinking in firing. 
For the same reason the raised parts of a 
tile should be as equally distributed as 
possible. When the tile is in high relief, 
however, the plastic clay is generally cast 
in moulds. The following are the most 
important kinds of decorated tiles : — 
Tiles painted hy hand (Fig. 180), with the ordinary enamel 
colours used to decorate porcelain, and afterwards glazed. For 




Fig. 167.— Frit 
inches high, 
brown. 



ilary. Eighteen 
Flowers purple 



I20 STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN ' 

obvious reasons of cconom}- a design intended to be so executed 
must be effective at as little cost in labour as possible, and should 
not be over-loaded with detail. 

Printed tiles (Figs. i66, 169, 172, 174). Here the pattern 
is transferred from an engraved copper plate, b}- means of transfer 
papers, on to the tile when it is in a biscuit or unglazcd state. This 




Fig. i63.— Teasel. Height 4 feet. Florets lilac. 



process is the cheapest and the most extensively used. The 
designer has few if an}- technical restrictions. 

Stencil plates are largely used in the decorating of tiles and 
give a richer effect than we get in those which are mechanically 
printed. Quite a number of plates are often used for the same 
pattern (see Chap. VHI.) ; by this means fine effects of broken 
colour arc obtained. 



TILES 



Majolica or Embossed tiles (Fig. 178) have the pattern in slight 
relief, and are made more effective by being dipped in a trans- 
parent coloured glaze, which runs into the hollows, emphasises 




Fig. 169. — Hexagonal tiles based on Teasel. 



the forms, and giv6s a very rich effect. The high lights may be 
further lightened by wiping off the glaze where required. Some- 
times more than one coloured glaze is used, applied with a 
brush. 



122 STUDIES IX PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 





P^vJ^Vv 


1 


^HS^H^H 


Hi / 

11 


1 


i 


i/il 


1 HI 


^^H 


i 


1 


■?T1 


Wk\ 


\l f 1 


sl 


;iSm 


w ''S''ii'>' 




%m II 


alM',;B'r-i 


^flRiii 


j^^ 




^^^^ 



Fic. 170. — l-Icwering Ru>h. Two to four feet high. Flowers rose colour. 



TILES 



In Incised tiles the pattern is incised or stamped in, and 
emphasised as above with a rich transparent glaze. 

Pate siir Pate is the painting in a white 
or coloured "slip" (clay thinned with water) 
on a ground of a different colour. This slip, 
which may be coloured to lo per cent, with 
metallic oxides by well grinding, has to be 
applied to the unbaked article ; and when 
it is fired the thinner layers have a trans- 




FiG. 172. — Tile diaper 011 the Clematis. 

lucent effect, slightly showing the colour of 
the ground beneath. The " slip " must 
always be of the same clay as the ground 
to ensure equal shrinkage when fired. 

This process is recommended to students. 

A dried unbaked piece of pottery is easily 

obtained from a manufacturer, together with the cla}' to form 

the " slip," which should be made just thin enough to be worked 

with a bru.sh. It should be applied in layers, care being taken 



Fig. 171. — Tiles for splays 
of fire-place based on 
Flowering Rush. 



124 STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 173 — Purp'.e C!e;natij. Flowers 4 inches across. 



TILES 125 

that the layer beneath is quite dry. The ornament unbaked 
will appear as an opaque mass, and the appearance of the 
ground colour through the thin layers when baked must be 
allowed for. Whilst unbaked the ornament may be worked 
upon with steel tools and with the liquid "slip" to any extent, 
but when baked no alteration is possible. We would refer 
the student to the article in the second volume of TJie Studio 
by ]\I. Solon, the introducer of the process. 




Fig. 174. — Tiles for hearth designed from the Dahlia. 



Encaustic tiles are moulded with the clay in a plastic state, the 
pattern bein^ cut or stamped in to yV of an inch below the 
surface, so as to form hollows in which " slips " of different- 
coloured clays are poured. When these become as hard as the 
body of the tile the surface is made even by scraping with a 
steel tool. They are very useful for pavements and hearths, on 
account of the depth of the coloured decoration, and for obvious 
reasons must be very simple in design. 



126 STUDIES IxM PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fio. 175.— Single Dahlia. Flowers white to yellow and crimson. 'Height 4 feet. 



TILES 



127 



The designer of tiles must of course keep before him the 
fitness of his design for the position it is to occup)- as well as the 
process by which it is to be executed. For instance, a hearth or 
floor tile (Fig. 174) should appear as a plan and very flat, and 



^felfec' 




Fig. 176. — Perennial Corn-flower. Leaves sheathed round stem. Florets white and blue. 



must not contain lines of growth in a vertical direction, like the 
tile for a splay (Fig. 171). We may add that by arranging a 
design diagonally across a 6 inch tile on similar lines to Fig. 153^ 
a pattern 12 inches square may be obtained. 



128 STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 177. — Opium Poppy. Flowers white to crimson and purple. Height 30 inches. 







t 



1SI, 



One word more on the vital import- 
ance of colour in all kinds of decorative 
design. The best design may be spoilt 
and the worst may be redeemed by its 
colour — its colour is the first thing one 
notices about it. 

We give here Owen Jones' rules 
for coloured decoration. We do not, 
ourselves, believe in hard and fast laws 
on the subject, but they may at least 
be useful as suggestions to young 
students. They are as follows : — 

(i) Primary colours should be used 
only on small surfaces and in small 
quantities, balanced and supported by 
the secondary and tertiary ones on larger 
masses. 

(2) The primary colours should be 
used on the upper portions of objects, 
and the secondary and tertiary on the 
lower. 

(3) When ornament is on a ground 
of a contrasting colour, the ornament 
should have an edging of a lighter tone 
of its own colour. 

(4) Ornament on a gold ground 
should be separated by an edging of 
a darker tone. 

(5) Ornament on white or black ground may be left without 
outline or edging. 

K 




Fig. 178. — Poppy design for em- 
bossed tiles for fireplace. 



I30 STUDIES IN PLANT FORM AND DESIGN 




Fig. 179. — Arrowhead. Eighteen to thirty inches high. Flowers white, upper ones sterile. 



TILES 131 

(6) No composition can ever be perfect in which any one of 
the three primary colours is wanting, either in its natural state 
or in combination. 

But, after all, there is only one way, we must repeat, in 
which colour may be learned, that is by the study of Nature, 
in her withered leaves, the plumage of her birds, her flesh 
colours, her flowers and sun-sets. In Nature the student will 
find a quite inexhaustible variety of schemes of colour which 
he must not simply glance at but try to copy. Of course he 
will fail to realise any one of them to his satisfaction, but at 
least he will have learned what colour means, and will have 
found out for himself that colour is the crowning glory of art. 




Fk;. iSo. — Painted tiles for frieze based on Arrowhead. 



KICHARD CLAY AND SONS, LIMITED, LONDON AND BUNGAY. 



/( 



V 




)#filOI5E' 0OA^«g 



^n V ait 




THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF K%T, > 1 560 | 

C.2 



ate^^.^- .. 




/^ 




, wBESwo IS* cvnk ^^ 

'^ r* M18- MEM HV>t^ S* *'SWb. J Q 

OEMCO riBBVU/ ^nhhn£2 



onBvi