To me, ornamentation is a synthesis of fascinating ideas. It makes use of stylization to depict familiar forms in an new way. It uses symmetry and tessellation to create repeating, harmonious patterns. Its rich colors and details bring life to the page or the object it is on. In a more philosophical sense, taking the time and effort to ornament something forces the artist to invest in it.
Design Notebook Cover Page
(Fineliner and Marker, Winter 2023)
I drew this as a cover page for my design notebook. I wanted practice with hand-drawn fonts as well as ornamentation. My goal was to implement practices I'd read about in Slovenská Ornamentika, a book about Central European ornamentation, but in my own style.
I started by laying out the letters and patterns in pencil. I decided to leave the layout lines in to clearly demonstrate how the piece was put together. Then I went over my sketch with a fineliner pen and filled it in with marker.
Pentagonal Tessellating Pattern
(Fineliner, Winter 2023)
The ornamentation I've been researching is usually reflectively symmetric or fit onto a rectangular grid pattern. However, I thought it could be interesting to repeat organic ornamentation using a geometric pattern.
I made this pattern completely by hand with a ruler, compass, pencil, and fineliner. I couldn't even estimate how long it took. 20 hours at least. But I found working on it meditative and relaxing. It was also mindless enough that I could do it while listening to lectures or YouTube videos.
Found Patterns (Collage, Summer 2023)
Ornamentation can be made with anything! I made this piece after discovering I could cut out pieces of magazine and other printed media to create ornamental motifs.
I'm now in the process of making a zine with other ornamented collage patterns and poetry made entirely from words I've found and cut out.
Sun and Clouds Pattern (Digital, Winter 2023)
I put this design together while brainstorming ornamentation for a nightstand project. I wanted to depict a sun obscured by rainclouds but in an abstract, colorful way.
While I will still hand paint the final design, ornamenting digitally is a fast way to test out ideas. Pieces can be freely moved around, reworked, and recolored. Also, mirroring and repetition of elements becomes trivial.