What it is to be beautiful

This phrase is still stuck in my head from a university philosophy lecture. Beauty is something I search for as an inspiration for my knitting patterns. I am still on an Art Deco kick, and I thought I’d share some of my current favorite things.

I love Eliel Saarinen‘s chairs – the blue chairs, these ones, and this settee (and the matching armchairs, of course). I like that his designs are beautiful and useful at the same time.

Another person whose work is breathtaking is Edgar Brandt. See how the Cheney Building’s number plate is kind of a scaled-down Oasis. I love these lines. The pictures I’ve found don’t really do justice to these items. I’ve been trawling through the Art Deco picture books from the library and thoroughly enjoying myself. Here’s a site with pictures of all kinds of metal work from the 1925 Paris expo.

Another mind-blowing image for me is this gorgeous picture of a church: the First Church Presbyterian, Stamford, CT (aka the “Fish Church“). I’m glad I came across this photograph by Christoph Morlinghaus, which was part of his Form/Faith exhibit.

And there are also inspirations in my head, which I sometimes can’t grasp. I woke up one morning last week having had a dream of being in a room, possibly in a museum, and seeing a video billboard advertising the most beautiful Art Deco hotel I could have imagined. I got out a paper and pen to make a note of the name so that I could go and visit it. It was the Hotel of Lady —–. The last word in the name was only a few letters long, 5 at most, but the closer I looked, the harder it was to read. Maddening. But it had the most beautiful angled parallel lines and, well, I can’t quite remember the rest.

Defining myself as a designer in my head has changed the way I look at things. My hobby is now a legitimate pursuit. It makes me more observant of the world around me and open to ideas. I can take notes in my sketchbook without feeling too self-conscious. I found it difficult to come up with new ideas a year ago. Now I have more ideas than I have time to work on!

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