Original Source Collection Von Wersin's Kitchen
WOVEN BASKETS from Namibia. Since early times functional items for domestic use have been made from locally sourced materials according to traditional designs and forms. In the Kavango, Caprivi and Owambo regions in Namibia, women collect grass and palm leaves for weaving all kinds of household items. Symbolic geometric patterns are woven into a basket as it is being made, using strips dyed in dark browns, purples and yellows. These show a simple sequence of basic lines.
EARTHEN CUP from the Hallstatt Period (Early Iron Age Europe, 800-600 BCE), the earliest period of Celtic art. Decoration is mostly geometric and linear, as seen in this cup, which has a discontinuous polarity between the basic unit and its environment.
These URUK MOSAICS (found in present-day Iraq) date from around 4000 BCE. They were made by pressing small clay cones tightly together in a wall covered with a thick layer of wet plaster. The flat ends of the cones were painted black, red or white. The mosaics were often ordered in rhombuses, triangles or straight and zigzag strips based on patterns formed by braid and textile. The mosaics were used to decorate Uruk’s palaces. They didn’t just serve a decorative purpose: the harder material of the mosaic cladding also protected the clay facade walls and pillars against the elements.
The Nupe are an ethnic group from northern Nigeria. The limited nature of Nupe art is due to the strict influence of Islam, which has controlled the social and religious life of the Nupe for at least 250 years. Muslim law forbids the use of art objects that possess human figural elements, considering them profane. The Nupe, unable to express themselves in such fashion, instead developed a magnificent ability to decorate utilitarian objects with intricate geometric incising, like this LID BASKET with a basic alternating sequence of counterchange patches.
The Roman glass industry drew heavily on the skills and techniques that were used in other contemporary crafts such as metalworking, gem cutting, and pottery production. The styles and shapes of Roman glass were influenced by the luxury silver and gold tableware amassed by the upper strata of Roman society. Workmanship, patience, and time was required to create engravings like the simple linear crossing lines on this ROMAN ENGRAVED GLASS BOTTLE.
Discontinuous polarity by crossing of basic forms on this MOCHE COMB. The Moche - who ruled Peru’s north coast from about 100 to 800 CE – expressed themselves through art of such high aesthetic quality that their vibrant murals, ceramics and metalwork are among the most highly regarded examples in the Americas.
JAPANESE FARMER TEXTILE or ‘Kasuri’, a Japanese word for fabric that has been woven with fibers dyed specifically to create patterns and images, characterized by a blurred or brushed appearance. Prior to dyeing, sections of the warp and weft yarns are tightly wrapped with thread to protect them from the dye. When woven together, the undyed areas interlace to form patterns. Many variations are possible, like this simple sequence of lines of enriched elements.
This WESTWALDER STONEWARE PITCHER has a unanimous mottled polarity. Westwalder stoneware is salt-glazed and produced in the German area known as the Westerwald. Their products (jugs, tankards, and the like), made from the 15th century to the present day, are moulded, stamped with dies, and sometimes incised. Blueish gray was the predominant colour of the wares, which were decorated in contrasting black, brownish purple or dark blue. (Early Iron Age Europe from the 8th to 6th centuries BC), which forms the early period of Celtic art. Decoration is mostly geometric and linear, like this cup, which has a discontinuous polarity between a basic unit and its environment.
Sculpture is one of the richest and most omnipresent forms of art linked to the Kanak people, the indigenous Melanesian inhabitants of the French outpost in the South Pacific. It acts as a bridge between humans and nature, the sacred and mundane, the visible and invisible. This CARVED POST from New Caledonia represents the spirit of Kanak culture in an alternating sequence of enriched elements.
A unanimous series of contrasting elements form the pattern of this old PERUVIAN TAPESTRY. Tapestry (tapiz) is an ancient weaving technique practised by many cultures; in Peru it dates back to pre-Incan times. It is a weft-faced weave woven in interlocking sections to create the pictorial motifs and patterns.
LATTICEWORK is an open framework consisting of a criss-crossed pattern of strips of building material, typically wood or metal. The design is created by crossing the strips to form a grid or weave. This LATTICEWORK is from the parish church in Wilten near Innsbruck. The variation of the straight line lattice through the graduated line results in surprising intermediate forms.
BASKET BOWL from Colombia with woven cartridge pattern of enriched elements. The waeving technique, from the Lache and Tunebo peoples, involves rolls of straw fastened by fique (a natural plant fiber) that are then dyed with natural materials. Plates, bowls, baskets and pots are fabricated using a weave so tight that it can hold water without any leaks.
This JAPANESE FARMER TEXTILE has a simple sequence of a combination of various elements. It is a kind of traditional folk textile produced in Japan since at least the middle of the 18th century. These historicically Chinese ‘kasuri’ textiles were produced extensively by farmer co-operatives in many areas of Japan. Because ‘kasuri’ was in high demand, they sold their homespun and handloomed fabrics even into the most remote rural locations as well as into urban centers.
A RELIQUARY is a container for relics. These may be the purported or actual physical remains of saints, such as bones, pieces of clothing, or some object associated with saints or other religious figures. The earliest reliquaries – like this one which is decorated with a polyphonic sumple sequence – were essentially boxes, either simply box-shaped or based on the form of a model of a church with a pitched roof.
The Amerindians who inhabit Guyana have been making objects with their hands sinds time immemorial. Their basket work is particularly neat and of a high standard. Materials of different colours are used and skillfully woven to produce patterns of animal or geometrical designs. This BASKET BOX has a polyphonic row of contrasting elements.
This WOVEN BAG from Indonesia features a variation on the checkerboard pattern: a field of polyphonic contrasting elements. Ikat – the word, borrowed from the Indonesian language, describes the method of weaving that uses dyed threads to produce coloured patterns, as well as
Cotton KASURI fabrics, very rugged and strong, are found mostly in Japan’s countryside. ‘Kasuri’ is a Japanese word for fabric that was originally produced by farmer’s wives to make work-clothing for their husbands.In this Japanese farmers’ textile continuous polyphonic crossing fibers are dyed specifically to create patterns and images in the fabric.
ROMAN MOSAICS are constructed from geometrical blocks called tesserae, placed together to create the shapes of figures, motifs and patterns, like these polyphonic crossing elements. Mosaics were used in a variety of private and public buildings, not just confined to floors but featured on walls and vaults as well.
The Eichstätt Cathedral contains elements of all major architectural movements from its Romanesque origins to the Rococo. The two towers are Romanesque and the western façade is Baroque, while most of the main structure is 14th-century Gothic, including these COLUMNS, continuously decorated with floral motifs in simple rows with intervals.
MADONNA OF EARS, Salzburg, ca. 1490, anonymous. ‘Madonna of Ears’ is a pictorial convention in which Mary is depicted in a dress decorated with a sequence of wheat ears “as the fertile soil and untilled field of God called to bear fruit”: a symbol for her virginal motherhood. Another sociocultural source for this rare iconographic motif may be found in Demeter, whose attribute was the blade of wheat, symbol of fertility.
Discontinuous ISLAMIC COUNTERCHANGE with natureforms. Counterchange is certainly in its origins the simple consequence of commonplace technical procedures. The correspondence so created must have appealed to decorators all over the world. But the supreme masters were no doubt the Islamic designers who modified their grid patterns till figure and void corresponded in the most surprising way.
TAPA CLOTH (or simply tapa) is a barkcloth made in the islands of the Pacific Ocean, primarily in Tonga, Samoa and Fij. Tapa can be decorated by rubbing, stamping, stencilling, smoking or dyeing. The patterns usually form a grid of squares, each of which contains geometric patterns with repeated motifs such as fish and plants, like this alternating sequence of lines of stylised leaves. Traditional dyes are usually black and rust-brown, although other colours are known.
The crossing of wavy lines in a GERMAN WROUGHT IRON ROSETTE (15th Century). Ironwork is any weapon, artwork, utensil or architectural feature made of iron especially used for decoration. There are two main types of ironwork: wrought iron and cast iron. While the use of iron dates as far back as 4000 BCE, use of iron was mainly utilitarian until the Middle Ages. It became widely used for decoration in the period between the 1400 and 1800.
Polyphonic closslinked honeycomb pattern on a EAST PRUSSIAN RUG. These knotted Mazovian rugs show a strong Oriental influence, though at the same time they are deeply rooted in peasant traditions. Many other textiles untouched by West European influences, however, come from southeast Poland, Ukraine and southern Russia. Some are characterised by ancient textile motifs (such as simple stripes) and forceful colour harmonies, others by geometric designs resembling those of the Orient.