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Entries in nature (13)


Lab of O


Christopher Dresser : Art Botany

Nature has always been and continues to be an ongoing source of design inspiration for the manufacture of goods. I thought about this more lately because we have been studying botany and dissecting flowers in class with the students. Christopher Dresser, a Scottish -born designer and  professor of Botany Art, and subsequent designer of botanical-inspired fabrics during Edwardian times in England, is fascinating.  


Botany Diagram 1855


Nectaries, diagram by Christopher Dresser

Christopher Dresser, 'Original drawing for The Grammar of Ornament (Leaves & Flowers No. 8)', published 1856. 


 'Botanical lecture diagram', about 1855. 

Fabric design, Sweet Peas, by Christopher Dresser

Victorian teapots designed by Dresser (hardly your average Victorian teapot!)

Dresser was born in Glasgow, Scotland of a Yorkshire family. At age 13, he began attending the Government School of Design, Somerset House, London. He received training in design and took botany as his specialization. He lectured on the new subject of Art Botany to complete his studies before his appointment in 1855 as Professor of Artistic Botany in the Department of Science and Art, South Kensington. He wrote a series of articles that appeared in the Art Journal in 1857, "Botany as Adapted to the Arts and Art Manufactures." In 1858 he sold his first designs. In 1873 he was requested by the American Government to write a report on the design of household goods.[2] 

En route for Japan in 1876 he delivered a series of three lectures in the Philadelphia Museum and School of Industrial Art and supervised the manufacture of wallpapers to his design for Wilson Fennimore. He was commissioned by Messrs Tiffany of New York to form a collection, whilst in Japan, of art objects both old and new that should illustrate the manufactures of that country.[1]

In four months in 1876/1877 Dresser travelled about 2000 miles in Japan, recording his impressions in Japan, its Architecture, Art and Art-Manufactures. He represented the South Kensington Museum whilst in Japan, and was received at court by the Emperor, who ordered Dresser to be treated as a guest of the nation – all doors were open to him. He was requested by the Japanese Government to write a report on 'Trade with Europe'. His pioneering study of Japanese art is evident in much of his work which is considered typical of the Anglo-Japanese style.


Toast rack, designed by Dresser for Alessi in 1878


Some of Dresser’s metalwork designs are still in production, such as his oil and vinegar sets and toast rack designs, now manufactured by Alessi and Alberto Alessi goes so far as to say Dresser 'knew the techniques of metal production better than any designer who has come to Alessi'.[3] (Wiki)


inspirations from nature

© Peg Nocciolino 2012


pattern and form

Spring is showing off again (globemaster allium in my garden)...these "hot young farmers" are getting their own show.

I like the work of Owen Davey. Postcards to Alphaville from Camilla. Selvedge on Facebook


if: detective...of wildflowers


One needs to be a detective to find all the different wildflowers in a garden


Inspiration: Nature

These impressions left on the concrete from fallen leaves
have the quality of japanese sumi paintings.


Long walk today through a local golf course where someone I know was playing. Of course I did watch some golf but this old birch caught my eye:) Looking a lot in general at the shapes of trees.....tomorrow I'll bring sketch pad...
Love these portraits by British illustrator Matthew Hollings here
Also, if you like making paper, June Tyler of Pondside Pulp and Paper in Norwich, NY, has updated her blog "...There is one spot left in the first session of "Papermaking in the Country," July 1 and 2 spaces left in "Handmade Paper and Printmaking, session one," beginning July 7, as of June 20, 2009."


Inspiration: Stony Hill Greenhouses

Dana Keiser and Zeke of Stony Hill Greenhouses: Rare and unusual ( and usual) plants.


Out and About

*A day in the country, Brackney PA
*Sea Hag Soaps and Art Mercantile (postage stamp quilt)
*Visit to Art Gallery (Betty Bryden's Bird Collages) in Montrose, PA. Tom Canouse and Betty are owners of The Butternut Gallery and Second Story Books at 42 Church Street in Montrose. The gallery is open year round.
*Lunch at Summerhouse Grill featuring all local fresh food.


Robin's Egg

Found this little gem in the garden this morning. How it survived a fall from the tree is a mystery. From what I can surmise, the advice is to leave it where you find it....slim chances of survival being raised by humans even if the chick did survive the fall. How about that blue though? amazing...


Patterns in Nature: California Academy of Sciences

Nature is amazing.
Here are some more photos from the CAS.The California Academy of Sciences includes a Natural History Museum, Morrison Planetarium and Steinhart Aquarium all in one location. The back of this turtle is exquisitely patterned. The black widow spider is near the top of the jar (just threw this in for the "ick" factor). Watching the penguins swim in the water with all the light and shadow explains much of their hi contrast patterning. Dappled spots and stripes mimicking the shadows of tall grasses and trees is so clever. I wonder if Buckminster Fuller ever stared at a turtle shell like this and imagined his geodesic dome?


Inspiration in Nature

I find a lot of inspiration in nature. This tree with visiting crows may figure into a future drawing or print. And some bird tracks....they seem like big feet to me...maybe a mourning dove? definitely not a junco or chickadee. I heard there is a big Noreaster brewing up for next Tuesday...Road trip to Ithaca tomorrow for my birthday. Working on a pastel illustration to post sometime soon.... Loved reading this interview on DesignSponge with Maria Vettese who does letterpress and started The Card Society ( I gave a subscription as a Christmas present to a good friend...) Have a beautiful weekend!


Blue Delphinium

Clear skies today. The color of blue delphinium, - such a clear blue. This paper I made has embedded blue delphinium petals (that I save from summer and press in a book) with single petals, stem and butterfly wing attached along the bottom. I like how the blue peeks out of the paper like patches of blue sky on a cloudy day. Click on the image to see it closer.
I guess it is a small homage to nature.