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Gustav Stickley (ed.) / The craftsman
Vol. XIV, Number 4 (July 1908)

Batchelder, Ernest A.
Design in theory and practice: a series of lessons: number X,   pp. 426-435 PDF (3.0 MB)


Page 426


DESIGN IN THEORY AND PRACTICE: A SE-
RIES OF LESSONS: BY ERNEST A. BATCH-
ELDER: NUMBER X
  "Conventionality in ornament is the natural
consequence of reticence or self-restraint,
of doing, not all that the artist could have
done, but just what is called for by the
occasion."              -Lewis Day.
N the last article it was said that
    there were two methods of develop-
    ing a surface pattern; one by start-
    ing with the details and working to-
ward the whole through the building up
of related lines and forms in space and
mass; the other by striking at once for
the big things and gradually breaking
the measures of space and mass to the
last details. But, though the methods
differ, the aims are the same,--a unity
of all the elements involved. The first
method is valuable for experimental
purposes and should precede the second
in the study of design, as it is a logical
development from simple to more com-
plex questions. But it should lead to
an ability to design by the other method.
It is always desirable to work from the
whole to the parts, to plan the big rela-
tions and forms first, and then, to the
idea thus expressed, relate the minor
details. In actual practice one often
combines both methods,-as, for in-
stance, in the little rabbit design of last
month; in that, the unit was made by
the second method of working, though
without thought of its being used in a
repeated pattern. Its general shape and
measure were established first; then it
was broken into related lines and forms
suggested by the rabbit. With the unit
FIGURE SIXTY-FIVE.
thus made a number of experiments
were tried in an effort to secure the
best possible adjustment of space and
mass relations in the repeated pattern.
  It is now proposed to discuss the de-
velopment of a pattern by the second
method (Plate 56). A greater degree
of skill and judgment is demanded than
before. This is a rhythmic design of
black and white elements, in which the
white is of dominant interest, but in
which the distribution, the shapes and
measures of black have demanded an
                   equal amount of
                         At * ... - * -- .- _ _~
care. A description
of this method of
working with illus-
trations showing
the evolution of the
design from its
first idea may be
interesting and
profitable. It may
well be assumed
that the method is
in accord, aside
from questions in-
volved in the tech-
nique of weaving,
with that pursued
hv 1-he deo~iipre nf
  FIGURE SIXTY-SIX. the old textiles,
                   shown in the April
and June numbers of THE CRAF-rSMAN.
We may be sure that they worked from
the whole to the parts, from big, gen-
eral forms to specific details. They had
learned to think in terms of design,
and nature stood always at hand to
strengthen their imaginations and sug-
gest details that would add the final
touch of life and interest to the work
of their hands. We do not care to ask
whether their designs are "based on the
rose," or any other particular specimen
of natural growth. They are beautiful
426
M


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