Carlo V. Mori will be posting on my blog while I keep up with work commitments.
When decoration gets labour intensive, writing about it seems like stealing time from the final goal. So I asked Carlo to write for me while I am busy painting. He wants me to show these sketches.
“Admiring the creative endeavor behind the making of an artifact is a revealing world:
a field of observation capable of leading us to the discovery of artistic motifs.
The history of the evolution of decorative patterns is is deeply related to the artist’s re-interpretation of old formulas.
For example, take this procedure of decorating an harpsichord. As usual, the preliminary drawing is the first step. In this phase, the initial skill of the applied arts craftsman is a good rendering of the figurative elements.
Using a classic approach, these were originated long ago in art history.
The decorative approach here aims to accomplish a really convincing ‘antique’ look and feel. The final objects will appear to be centuries old. Gracefully adjusting the composition to the surface areas requires sense of proportions and familiarity with the ‘old masters school’.
The preliminary sketch of these musical cherubs among flowery scrolls shows a secure definition of shapes. This design will be transferred unto the surfaces of the object, in this case the harpsichord. Although the contour line is very clear, the final application of colors will reproduce the style of painting as observed on ancient pieces of furniture. Together with the slightly fading quality of old distressed paint. This procedure will never stop to impress my eyes. Because its accuracy relies very much on the authenticity of the materials used. The ingredients are just a part of the knowledge involved in the making of this object. The final product will be hardly distinguishable from an exact replica of an historic artifact. Rather then the application of a ‘faux-effect’ on a piece of furniture, this object will portray history through its most subliminal ‘tactile’ qualities.
The style can be traced back to many different centuries. The composition derives from the grotesques ornaments genre. Its interpretation imitates a 19th century approach. During the 1800′s all existing decorative styles from different centuries and civilizations were catalogued, and classified according to their originating cultures in a much more extensive and methodical way compared to how this process had been carried out in previous centuries. The fact that patterns were classified and reproduced in prints, and the consequent vast spreading of pattern books led to a newly increased facility of access to a variety of forms for artists. Moreover, one of the consequences of the ‘cataloguing’ that characterized this era happened to be a rather creative and free approach to interpretation of the patterns.
The ‘rigorous’ standard which became commonly predominant to most 19th century academic art had an influence on the high end decorative arts. This certainly raised the overall quality at all levels of production in a time when the dialogue among arts and industry included, in the last quarter of the century, the use of photography. Obviously, before this radical innovation the diffusion of printed materials had reached a considerable impact and a remarkable quality.”