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The craftsman
Vol. VII, No. 5 (February 1905)

Stickley, Gustav
Ornament: its use and its abuse,   pp. 580-588 PDF (2.7 MB)


Page 580


ORNAMENT:ITS USE AND ITS ABUSE.T
GUSTAV STICKLEY
long ago, two women who were visiting my work-
ops, stopped to examine a table which, made of fumed
k and simply constructed, depended for its attractions
on its carefully adjusted proportions and its color
operties-the latter based upon the work of Nature
   Casting over the object a glance which I saw to be trained and
critical, one of the visitors exclaimed: "Isn't that beautiful?"
 The
other, plainly a more conventional person, replied rather unwillingly:
"Yes, if you admire that sort of furniture." Then, she added, after
a quick survey of the room inclusive of all its contents - cabinet,
metal, and needle-work-"I see that everything is alike: the same
principle everywhere. In fact, I hear that the director of these work-
shops has pronounced against all ornament."
   This fragment of conversation appeared to me an excellent basis
for explanations which, if sufficiently well made, might be conducive
to the education, the happiness-I might almost say the morality-of
a large class of persons. I therefore determined to offer a few words
ina Til-u' fPArI'TIrA'N re-
   ;n  rr P PA TT.z?/A  re-
garding ornament: t o
define its nature as I un-
derstand it to be; to dis-
cuss in a simple way its
functions; to plead
against its misapprehen-
sion and abuse.
  My plan, I own, as I
reconsider the words just
fallen from my pen,
m i g h t appear formid-
able to persons seeking
information in a popular
form. But let not "the
gentle reader" take
fright!  To borrow  a
58o
BY
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