urn-namentation trophies
earthenware . glaze
35 x 30 x 20 cm (trophy #1)
20 x 20 x 15 cm (trophy #2)


“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

Ode on a Grecian Urn - John Keats 1819

Urn-namentation explores the notion of ornamental and necessary beauty through the ancient form of the ‘urn’, and re-introduces it in a contemporary setting.

Traditionally urns represent vases or vessels that served some sort of purpose rather than any particular form or shape. These decorative urns were often presented on pedestals or side tables, seen to heighten their importance and ornamental presence. Today they are still commonly seen and used in gardens and well as architectural settings.

It is this purely ornamental notion where objects have flourished beyond necessity and into beauty that I wish to explore. As William Morris states in his Of the Origins of Ornamental Art - ‘for all art should be ornamental, and when it is not ornamental, and in the degree in which it is not, it fails of a part of its purpose... from the very first they (men) have striven to make their household and personal goods beautiful as well as useful...’

In our fast-paced society we are often left without time to explore labour-intensive pursuits, and have been trained to expect and demand quick outcomes. This often results in a lack of time to create decorative and ornate objects. Through using hand building techniques such as slab-building and coiling I want to create a direct connection with this ancient form, where rich and unnecessary ornamentation was revered and celebrated. Through decoration as structure I want to integrate patterned ornamentation onto the urn-like forms I create, specifically through the use of a gold glaze. I feel that this will further emphasise their almost revered decorative and ornamental quality, as gold is such a highly valued commodity. 

I imagine them sitting in some sort of architecturally designed entranceway or foyer, to be admired in passing...purely Urn-namental.