I heard about a wonderful new source of inspiration on a recent podcast of 99% Invisible. The show features stories on design and architecture (check it out when you have a chance). Show #106 was about the quatrefoil, a fancy shape you have seen a million times (think of four coins overlapping at the center). The show mentions The Grammar of Ornament, by Owen Jones, published in 1868. It’s apparently an encyclopedia of ornamental art from all ages and cultures. The link provided takes you to free online copy.
It is fascinating to see how some designs have no geographical or cultural or even temporal borders. They’re universal.
Quilters will recognize a lot of traditional quilt designs. And you know I will be checking this out next time I need some inspiration.