The Ornamental Parts of Life: The Flower & The Fleuron
Starting with William Morris’ book ‘Useless work Vs Useful toil’ I chose the following quote to depart from: ‘We must begin to build up the ornamental part of life – its pleasure, bodily and mental, scientific and artistic, social and individual”
After extensive research into Ornamentation and topics surrounding the subject, I focussed on the detail of ‘Printers Flowers’ or Fleurons – ornamental elements of typography. Exploring this further I came across the article by Alice Twemlow for Eye Magazine, titled Decriminalisation of Ornament; “The other impulse running through this work is a kind of stubborn celebration of uselessness. The Modernist-derived philosophy that has dominated twentieth-century design empties ornament of meaning and separates it from function, thus rendering it superfluous in the eyes of the canon”
My intent was to give meaning to these elements of ornament whilst communicating the social issue of plant endangerment. Both the flower and the fleuron are ornamental parts of life. They are details of beauty derived from the natural world, known by many for their decorative function. Both are at risk of being lost in the modern world. This book aims to highlight the fleuron and the flower. Providing a place to memoralize and celebrate both.