Archive for the 'Quotes of inspiration' Category

Some more Ruskin quotes

Your all probably wondering why I’ve posted so many John Ruskin and William Morris quotes. Well I’ve been writing an essay on Industrialisation and there the key members of the time who saw what was happening to society. They were the founders of the Arts and Crafts movement and I’ve become quite attached to them I suppose. If you are interested I’ll be happy to post a few chapters of the essay….. just let me know. 

Anyway here are the quotes:

John Ruskin:

“Do what you can, and confess frankly what you are unable to do; neither let your effort be shortened for fear of failure, nor your confession silenced for fear of shame.”

 

 ” Imperfection is in some way sort of essential to all that we know of life. It is the sign of life in a mortal body, that is to say, of a state of progress and change. Nothing that lives is, or can be, rigidly perfect; part of it is decaying, part nascent…. And in all things that live there are certain irregularities and deficiencies which are not only signs of life, but sources of beauty…. To banish imperfection is to destroy expression, to check exertion, to paralyse vitality. All things are literally better, lovelier, and more beloved for the imperfections which have been divinely appointed, that the law of human life may be Effort, and the law of human judgment, Mercy.”

 

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Something Interesting To Consider

Uniqueness: If the work of art happens to be a painting or sculpture, rather than a poem or a musical composition, it is a unique object, and this permits the extraordinary exploitation of a market that attempts to convince us that [art like] Van Gogh’s Irises painting is actually worth £30 million.”

By Alan  Bowness, The conditions of success : how the modern artist rises to fame. 1989 

Walter Gropius

“Art is not a “profession.” There is no essential difference between the artist and the craftsman. The artist is an exalted craftsman. In rare moments of inspiration, moments beyond the control of his will, the grace of heaven may cause his work to blossom into art. But proficiency in his craft is essential to every artist. Therein lies a source of creative imagination.”
“Art is a profession that can be mastered by study. Schooling alone can never produce art….quality cannot be taught and cannot be learned… Manual dexterity(,)… thorough knowledge which is a necessary foundation for all creative effort, whether the workman’s or the artist’s, can be taught and learned.” Walter Gropius

Piero Fornasetti

“The return of decoration, specifically the embellishment of surface, has been one of the most conspicuous characteristics of design in the last decade (being the 1980’s). This tendency represents a distinctly anti-modernist stance, rejecting previously inviolable prohibitions against ornament, historical naturalistic reference, and non-functional form…” Piero Fornasetti

It’s an interesting observation. As you may have noticed from my other quotes i’m a bit of a traditionalist in heart. However as a woody in todays society it pays (,in dollars to,) to be flexable in what you design and produce. At the end of the day you have to eat and pay the bills.

William Morris

“I must needs think of furniture as of two kinds: one part of it being chairs, dining and working tables and the like, the necessary work-a-day furniture in short, which should be of course both well made and well proportioned, but simple to the last degree….But besides this kind of furniture, there is the other kind of what I should call state furniture, which I think is quite proper even for a citizen: I mean sideboards, cabinets and the like, which we have quite as much for beauty’s sake as for use; we need not spare ornament on these, but may make them as elegant and as elaborate as we can with carving, inlaying or painting; these are the blossoms of the art of furniture”.

William Morris – 1882

Quotes by Ruskin, Fornasetti and Morris

Ruskin states: “that imperfection is in some way sort of essential to all that we know of life. It is the sign of life in a mortal body, that is to say, of a state of progress and change. Nothing that lives is, or can be, rigidly perfect; part of it is decaying, part nascent…. And in all things that live there are certain irregularities and deficiencies which are not only signs of life, but sources of beauty…. To banish imperfection is to destroy expression, to check exertion, to paralyse vitality. All things are literally better, lovelier, and more beloved for the imperfections which have been divinely appointed, that the law of human life may be Effort, and the law of human judgment, Mercy.” 1853 “What I look for in every object,” said Fornasetti, “is the mark of man.” The ‘mark of man’ or the mark of the hand? John Ruskin in response to the writings of Henry Cole, who attempted to promote the co-operation between art and industry in conjunction with the Great Exhibition of 1851, stressed the importance of work by hand as opposed to mechanical work, for the good of the product and for the well-being of the worker involved in its manufacture. (William Morris absorbed these words and in) Ruskin’s second volume of The Stones of Venice – The Nature of Gothic, Morris argued that “man-made articles should reveal, rather than seek to disguise, their origins, and that individuality and roughness of workmanship were infinitely preferable to the perfection and standardization, in a free and just society…. Asserting the superiority of the products of the creative craftsman over those of the factory.”

Some words of wisdom…..????? I personally agree with such statements, and for me a source of inspiration. For those craftsmen seeking perfection (as am I) perhaps we should take note of Ruskin, Morris and Fornasetti. Three exempt designers and artists excusing the imperfection of the hand.

The first post

“You can teach a man to draw a straight line, and to cut one; to strike a curved line, and to carve it; and to copy and carve any number of given lines or forms, with admirable speed and perfect precision; and you find his work perfect of its kind; but you ask him to think about any of those forms, to consider if he cannot find any better in his own head, he stops; his execution becomes hesitating; he thinks, and ten to one he thinks wrong; ten to one he makes a mistake in the first touch he gives to his work as a thinking being. But you have made a man of him for all that. He was only a machine before, an animated tool.” Ruskin 1853

I view my blog as a source of inspiration, as I intend to view others, thus such quotes as this by John Ruskin will be one of the main features of this blog. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!