The decorative arts are arts or crafts concerned with the design and manufacture of beautiful objects that are also functional. It includes interior design, but not usually architecture. The decorative arts are a series of figurative artistic disciplines traditionally linked to the creation and decoration of objects of use, as opposed to the fine arts (painting, sculpture, drawing, engraving, photography and mosaic) intended to create artifacts whose sole purpose it is instead aesthetic contemplation. This field includes all crafts of interior design and interior design, such as furniture and furnishings.
Decorative arts are often cataloged by medium or technique. Among them we can mention the goldsmithery, the toreutics, the glyptic, the ceramic art, the miniature, the creation of stained glass and other glass objects, enamels, carving, inlay, cabinet making, the minting of coins and medals, weaving and embroidery, industrial design, decoration in general. It also often includes graphic arts (engraving) and miniature, as well as some works of architecture, painting and sculpture intended for ornamentation and conceived in series, not as individual works.
The distinction between decorative art and beautiful art is above all based on the functionality, the intentions, the importance, the status of single work or production related to a single artist. Decorative arts products, or furnishings, can be mobile (eg lamps) or stationary (eg wallpaper).
The decorative arts have been present to a greater or lesser extent in all periods of the history of art in general, either by solitary or in conjunction with other arts, especially architecture. In many cases they have marked a certain historical period, such as Byzantine, Islamic or Gothic art, in such a way that it would not be possible to assess it adequately without the presence of this type of work. In other cases, especially that of nomadic cultures, it is the only type of artistic achievement carried out by these peoples, as is the case of the Scythians or the Germanic peoples who invaded the Roman Empire. In many cultures decorative arts have had a similar status to the rest of the arts, as is the case of Greek ceramics or Chinese lacquer. It is also worth noting the close relationship between the decorative arts and popular culture, which has often been the main means of expression in this medium.
Decorative arts are all those activities related to art or crafts designed to produce objects with a purpose both utilitarian and ornamental. They are usually works made with an industrial or artisanal production but pursuing a certain aesthetic purpose. The concept is synonymous with the so-called applied arts or industrial arts, also sometimes called minor arts as opposed to the major arts or fine arts. In a certain sense, the decorative arts is a term applied preferably to the industrial arts, as well as to painting and sculpture, when its objective is not to generate a unique and differentiated work, but rather they seek a decorative and ornamental purpose, with a generally serial production.
The distinction between the decorative and the fine arts has essentially arisen from the post-Renaissance art of the West, where the distinction is for the most part meaningful. This distinction is much less meaningful when considering the art of other cultures and periods, where the most highly regarded works – or even all works – include those in decorative media. For example, Islamic art in many periods and places consists entirely of the decorative arts, often using geometric and plant forms, as does the art of many traditional cultures. The distinction between decorative and fine arts is not very useful for appreciating Chinese art, and neither is it for understanding Early Medieval art in Europe. In that period in Europe, fine arts such as manuscript illumination and monumental sculpture existed, but the most prestigious works tended to be in goldsmith work, in cast metals such as bronze, or in other techniques such as ivory carving. Large-scale wall-paintings were much less regarded, crudely executed, and rarely mentioned in contemporary sources. They were probably seen as an inferior substitute for mosaic, which for this period must be viewed as a fine art, though in recent centuries mosaics have tended to be seen as decorative. The term “ars sacra” (“sacred arts”) is sometimes used for medieval Christian art done in metal, ivory, textiles, and other high-value materials but not for rarer secular works from that period.
Decorative arts technique falls within the concept of art (τέχνη téchnē), a creative manifestation of the human being generally understood as any activity or product carried out with an aesthetic and communicative purpose, through which Ideas, emotions or, in general, a vision of the world are expressed through various resources and materials. Art is a component of culture, which reflects in its conception the economic and social substrates, as well as the transmission of ideas and values inherent in any human culture throughout space and time.
The classification of art has had an evolution parallel to the concept of art itself: during classical antiquity art was considered all types of manual skill and dexterity, of a rational type and subject to rules, so that the current fine arts came into that denomination such as crafts and sciences In the second century Galen divided art into liberal arts and vulgar arts, according to whether they had an intellectual or manual origin. In the Renaissance, architecture, painting and sculpture were considered to be activities that required not only craft and skill, but also a type of intellectual conception that made them superior to other types of crafts.In 1746, Charles Batteux established The fine arts reduced to a single principle the current conception of fine arts, where it included painting, sculpture, music, poetry and dance, while maintaining the term “mechanical arts” for the rest of artistic activities, and noted as activities between both categories the architecture. Over time this list suffered variations and, as of today, it is not completely closed, but in general it set a commonly accepted basis.
The terms «decorative arts», «applied arts», «industrial arts» or «minor arts» arose in opposition to «fine arts» or «major arts», although often the frontier is not entirely clear. , within the plastic arts the decorative function is considered secondary: thus, if the painting has by itself an autonomy as a work of art, in its application to an object it loses that singularity to fulfill a subordinate function, that of beautifying that object. If painting can represent a vision of the world in the conceptual freedom of the artist, decorative painting will move in a closed circle of themes and motifs.
Probably the separation between major and minor arts came from the distinction on the part of art criticism of the “beautiful” and the “useful”: the former was granted a higher category, since it seemed to be directed more directly to the intellect and / or the spirit, while the latter had a more practical and mundane purpose. This distinction did not cease to be subjective, since an activity such as architecture, encompassed in the major arts, is certainly useful, while many minor arts, while useful, can be beautiful.
Although the decorative arts were considered a minor art, from the eighteenth century they acquired a certain autonomy and, since then, they began to value their aesthetic rather than the utilitarian aspect and many of their productions were valued as works of art with their own uniqueness. However, the decorative arts applied to the industry – more properly called today “industrial arts” – were separated from this concept, since in this type of objects decoration is usually secondary; thus, functionalist aesthetics tended to value objects more for their usefulness, rejecting a decoration often superimposed.
The term “decorative arts” was branch forged in third of the nineteenth century, mainly as a substitute for the term “minor arts”, which was pejorative.In the genesis of the decorative or industrial arts, practicality and aesthetics are inextricably linked. Thus, the production of objects encompassed in this term must take into account the purpose of the product (appliances, clothing, utensils, furniture) as well as its formal appearance. Thus, a utilitarian object that is subsequently decorated or, on the contrary, another that has an artistic aspect that does not fulfill a practical function, would not fall into this category, although decorative arts have often been considered products with a simple ornamental function, but produced in series, which would move away from the concept of unique work of art with capital letters.
A decisive factor in the new awareness of the decorative arts was the publication between 1860 and 1863 of the book Der Stil in den technischen und tectonischen künsten der praktische Aestetik, by Gottfried Semper, where he paid special attention to the decorative arts within the history of the art. This work influenced the formalist historian Alois Riegl, who in his analysis of the history of art as a function of style also included the decorative arts. For Riegl, who was curator of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Vienna, the techniques used in artistic production marked the evolution of artistic forms.
To the arts related to decoration have been applied throughout history many terms more or less synonymous, while they may have some differences in general nuance expressed the same concept:
Decorative arts: the term affects the decorative purpose of this type of arts, because its purpose is to adorn a specific space, reason why they are considered especially linked to architecture. In general it is considered the most appropriate term and that it grants a greater dignity, proof of this is that the majority of museums dedicated to this type of works are usually called Museums of Decorative Arts.
Minor arts: arose in confrontation with the idea of major arts or fine arts (architecture, sculpture and painting), although it is pejorative and marks some boundaries that are not real, since painting and sculpture can be considered in certain cases as decorative arts
Useful or utilitarian arts: this term puts emphasis on the practical aspect of this type of realizations, which underestimates its aesthetic component, while it would be debatable whether the utility of some fine arts such as architecture would reduce them to this level.
Functional arts: analogous to the previous one, the functional aspect of these works is influenced, which gives rise to a similar debate, which can be added if the major arts do not also have a function.
Applied arts: this term comes from the relationship between this type of artistic disciplines and their production of artisanal or industrial type, since they are usually created by various specialized techniques and procedures that need professional or semi-professional training. Thus, the majority of schools where these trades are learned are often called Schools of Applied Arts (or Artistic Trades).
Auxiliary arts: the secondary aspect of this type of disciplines is emphasized here, since their productions are destined to decorate “major” works, preferably architectural spaces. Again it is a pejorative term and that does not include all these realizations, which in many cases can have an autonomy by themselves.
Crafts, artistic crafts: in this sense, the production aspect of these works is affected in terms of the professionalism of their craftsmen, in the consideration of being handmade objects, without a mechanical manufacturing process. Much of this concept comes from the Arts and Crafts movement, which emerged in the United Kingdom in the nineteenth century.
Manual arts: a term rarely used in general, affects the craftsmanship of this type of work, which excludes its mechanical production in many cases.
Industrial arts: in contrast to the previous one, the process of mechanization and industrial production of many of these works is expressed here, especially since the Industrial Revolution. One could argue here if this type of fabrication is done in detriment of the creative process of the artist or is simply a tool that helps in its realization. Perhaps it is only applicable to those works produced in series.
Sumptuary arts: the term sumptuary means “belonging to or relating to luxury”, so it is applied preferably to those decorative arts made with precious materials (gold, silver, jewelry).
Type of works: a first factor to take into account is the function and destiny of the work, whether it is religious or secular, cultured or popular, whether it is for an address, a company, a palace or any other purpose.
Techniques and materials: each artistic discipline has certain techniques and materials of preparation, which must be considered for the final result depending on the object you want to create. Many of these elements are determinants of a certain time or style, so they help in their study and classification.
Modern understanding of the art of many cultures tends to be distorted by the modern privileging of fine art media over others, as well as the very different survival rates of works in different media. Works in metal, above all in precious metals, are liable to be “recycled” as soon as they fall from fashion, and were often used by owners as repositories of wealth, to be melted down when extra money was needed. Illuminated manuscripts have a much higher survival rate, especially in the hands of the church, as there was little value in the materials and they were easy to store.
Form: the shape marks the rhythm of volumes and proportions of a certain space, especially in exempt pieces. On the other hand, the form expresses the function of the object and its temporal characteristics, so it is a reflection of the style and the historical and social framework in which it was created.
Decorative system: establishes the type of ornamental motif of a piece and the way in which that motive fits within the composition of the same. The three main ornamental motifs are: geometric, epigraphic and naturalistic (plant, animal, human or landscape), which can be either isolated or combined. Depending on its composition, diverse expressive languages are generated, like the naturalist, if it is inspired by the reality of visible nature; or the stylized one, if it makes a subjective reinterpretation of reality. Also within the composition should be taken into account if the ornamentation is limited to a specific area of the work or covers it completely (the so-called horror vacui). Within this space, ornamental motifs can be made by repetition, alternation, symmetry or inversion.
Geometric motifs: among the main ones are the point, the line, the zigzag, the broken band, the lance, the meander, the square, the losange, the checkered, the triangle, the hexagon, the octagon, the sinusoid, the spiral , the circle and semicircle, the ellipse, etc.
Architectural reasons: cord, listel, bull, bocel, scotland, gallon, cartela, etc.
Naturalist motifs: come mainly from flora, fauna, human beings, fantastic and mythological beings, astronomical elements, landscape and objects of all kinds.
Complex motives: they are basically the writing and the symbols, as well as the heraldic motives.
Color and light: in the aesthetic and formal aspect of the work of decorative art, color and light are decisive, which influence the shape of the object, the material and various qualities such as solidity, refraction, transparency or opacity , the reflection, the texture, the relief or the games of lights and shadows. Also, apart from their physical qualities, they can express a certain symbolism, since colors are often associated with certain religious or cultural concepts, while light is often associated with divinity and revelation.
Rhythm and balance: decorative arts have the purpose of decorating a space, which is usually achieved with the conjunction of various elements. Therefore, a factor to take into account is the harmony between all the pieces of a given space, the overall balance and the spatial rhythm in which they are circumscribed. This harmonization of elements expresses, on the other hand, concepts inherent to a certain period, such as fashion or style, customs or the thinking of a society.
Spatial relationship: most decorative works of art (except exempt ones) are designed for a specific space, which influences their conception and realization. In the evaluation of this type of works, it must be considered whether they are in their original location or not; One of these works exhibited in a museum can be valued for its intrinsic qualities, but losing its original function loses some of its meaning.
Economy, society and fashion: every work of art is a reflection of a determined historical and social moment, which supposes a determining factor in its productive genesis. In the elaboration of these objects, the economic factors that mark their productivity, the social conditioning factors that determine their function, and the aspects of fashion and style that condition their form and appearance can be decisive. These external conditions are linked to other internal factors, such as technique, to determine the production process of these realizations.
Influences between the arts: the different artistic modalities – both major and minor – influence each other, just like artists. These influences are also transmitted in time, which is denoted in the succession of periods of marked classicist accent with others of Baroque taste. Generally the influence of the major arts over the minor ones has been perceived, but sometimes it has also happened on the contrary, as the influence of the Islamic decorative arts in the Spanish Romanesque sculpture, of the engraving in the painting of the Baroque or of the Rococo decoration in the architecture of the eighteenth century in France and Germany.
Classification and techniques:
Mosaic and inlay
The mosaic is the technique of making images by embedding hard stones, either in the ground or on the wall. When it is placed as a pavement, it receives the Greek term lithostroton: the coating is applied on lime, sand or other materials such as stones, pebbles, marble slabs, etc. There are several types: opus lapilli, small pebbles of natural colors, which by themselves compose the drawing; opus tessellatum, formed by tesserae, pieces of square shape of two centimeters, with which the composition is elaborated, generally of geometrical type; opus vermiculatum, also made with tiles, but of different contours, thus being able to form different paths; opus sectile, formed by irregularly shaped marble slabs. The mosaic itself, also called opus musivum, is the same technique but applied to wall decoration: it is made with glass-paste tiles, applied to the wall prepared with several layers of mortar, making figures and drawings. The inlay is a technique similar to the previous ones, it can be paved or parietal, or it can even be applied to furniture or other objects. It consists of embedding thin slabs of stone and marble of color, cut and embedded forming diverse images or compositions on a compact surface. It can also be made in wood (intarsia), being a frequent technique in cabinetmaking. In Carpi, in the seventeenth century, a plaster inlay also emerged. Another variant is the sausage of hard stones.
Glasswork is made on crystals set in wood, plaster, gold or lead, which are fitted with sheets of lead, tinning them, with a layer of putty (white painter with linseed oil). The old stained glass windows have grisailles, liquid ferric oxide, applied to accurately draw small details; by 1340 it was replaced by silver oxide and, from here, colored crystals are no longer made, but colored on white glass. The manufacturing process is by phases: elaboration of a sketch in cardboard, cutting of the glasses, painting of the same, cooking and union by leaded.
There are several types of glass: «sodium glass» (the most basic one, made of silica), glass (silica and lead oxide or potassium), «chalcedony glass» (silica and metal oxides) and «milk glass »(Silica, manganese dioxide and tin oxide). The main technique to work it is blowing, where it can be given any shape and thickness. As for the decoration, it can be painted, graffiti, carved, with clips, filigree, etc. The enamel is a glass paste (silica, lime, potash, lead and minium), on metal support, worked according to various techniques: cloisonne, small gold or copper filaments, with which the figure is drawn on the support, Separate the enamel into partitions; Champlevé, which is made by lowering the support in alveoli and hollowing the material in concavities, filled with enamel; ajouré, a golden surface where the shapes are cut with saws or files, filling the removed part with enamel.
The Azulejería is a glazed ceramic tile that is used as a floor and wall covering. Like the enameled bricks, it has its origin in the Near East. In Spain, in the fifteenth century, the variant of tiling arose, with three types: dry rope, basin or ridge. That same century, in Italy, the production of majolica slabs began, especially in Naples and Faenza, whose pictorial compositions later had great success in Spain and Portugal, as well as Mexico and Peru.
Azulejería is a fossil substance, a variety of lignite, black and shiny surface. Generally they are small pieces, that work with file and winch, in relief or carving, with a final phase of polishing. They are often linked to other works of sculpture or goldsmithing, being quite frequent in sumptuary arts.
Stucco and plasterwork
The stucco is made with lime paste (or white plaster), marble powder, washed sand and casein, in different proportions depending on the time and place. Its two main applications are as a coating or as a decoration, with different thicknesses, generally more compact for the first case and more thin and malleable for the second. For its part, the gypsum is a sulphate of hydrated lime, which mixed with water forms a white paste, which can be used for both construction and sculpture and reliefs. The main difference between the two is that the plaster, having no marble dust, is more fragile and of lower quality, although its decorative value is similar.
Carpentry and joinery
The wood arts are used both as a cladding within the architecture (coffered ceilings, doors, windows, balconies, balusters) -including provisional architectures such as capelardentes and retablos- as in transportable elements (furniture). The two main techniques are carving and turning: the first is done with sharp instruments such as the burin -in high, medium, low or huerelrelieve-, or in incised ornamentation; the second involves a more elaborate mechanical manipulation process. As for ornamentation, there are several procedures: intarsia, similar to inlay but in wood; incrustation (or marquetry), a similar type of inlay but more superficial, made with glue (in these cases the pieces added can be of another type of wood or other materials, predominantly ivory, bone, mother-of-pearl or metal); plating, consisting of using a base of coarse wood and superimposing another finer one of higher quality; lacquered, application of lacquer technique to wood; polychromatic, superposition of woods of different colors to create chromatic effects; gold, combination of wood and gold leaf; sgraffito, combination of gold and polychrome; pyrography, consisting of burning the wood with an incandescent metal; Grouped, wood lined with leather; and rehearsed, wood lined with cloth.
Metal (iron, copper, bronze) can be used alone or veneered on wood, usually in closing elements such as doors, bars and gates. The bronze is usually melted and poured into molds. The work with iron (limonite, pyrite or magnetite) is called forge: it is reduced with heat, from which a reddish paste with which ingots are made. There are three classes: cast iron, with a lot of carbon, silica, sulfur and manganese, it is not used to forge, only to melt in mold; sweet or forged iron, with less carbon, it is more malleable and ductile, it can be forged, but it is soft and dull; and steel, with manganese, tungsten, cobalt and tungsten, is harder, for cutting instruments. The modeling is done without adding or removing material, but there are several alternative techniques: stretch, enlarge, split, bend, emphasize, etc. Gold and polychrome effects can also be given.47
They are manifested mainly in fabrics and embroidery. A fabric is a work of loom composed of several threads arranged in warp and weft. The looms can be mobile (or “waist”) or fixed (vertical or horizontal). Depending on the multiplicity or interlacing of the yarns, different types of fabrics are obtained, such as taffeta, twill, satin, silk, velvet, etc. These fabrics can be natural or printed, applying dyes on the fabric. As for typologies, the most used in decorative arts are carpets and tapestries and, to a lesser extent, lace. The embroideries are embossed work done with needle on already made fabrics.
Leather work has two main modalities: the cordovan, goat leather or tanned goat, appeared in Cordoba in Andalusian period, used as a complement for furniture; and the guadamecí, skin of tanned and carved ram, and later policromada, gilded or silver, used like ornament of altarpieces, canopies and altars or like coating of walls, curtains or furniture, sometimes even like carpets. There are different techniques for leather work: engraving, embossing, debasing, chiseling, carving, stamping, ironing, trimming, etc. Embroidery, gold, silver or tin foil, or hardware or nail applications can be added on the leather, and it can be polychromed with mineral (potash) or chemical (aniline) products, or with oil or tempera paint.49 Other modalities are the tafilete, burnished goatskin finer than the cordovan, used preferably in binding; and the Moroccan, sheepskin used mostly in furniture upholstery.
Miniature is a type of painting of small dimensions made on paper, parchment or vellum, although it can be on other supports. The most common technique is gouache, pigments dissolved in gum water or other binders (gum arabic, egg white, honey). Its most common support is in books, usually illustrations that accompany the written text.
Engraving is a stamp obtained by means of an iron or matrix. There are different techniques:
Chalcography: engraving on copper made in hollow, in various techniques: etching, etching technique consisting of treating the parts of the metal plate not protected by a varnish with «strong water» (nitric acid diluted in water); aquatint, technique from a metal plate covered with resin, which once heated adheres to the surface of the plate, then drawing on this surface with a special type of ink, called aquatint; burin engraving, is done on copper plate, with a burin, with which the drawing is outlined, filling the grooves with ink; engraved with drypoint, in this technique the plate is worked directly with a tip of steel, diamond or ruby, without resorting to varnishes or acids, with which you get rough lines called “burr”, different depending on the pressure and angle of incision, which unlike the burin does not cut the metal, but scratches it; engraved with half ink (mezzotinto), the plate is worked with a multi-pronged scraper (rocker or berceau), obtaining a uniform graining by crossing lines, with which clear and dark tones are distinguished.
Woodcut: wood engraving (usually cherry or boxwood), made on a sketched drawing on the wooden board and carved with a knife, gouge, chisel or chisel, emptying the whites of wood and leaving the black ones in relief; It is then inked with a roller and stamped, either by hand or with the press.
Linocut: technique of embossing similar to woodcut, but using linoleum instead of wood.
Lithography: it is an engraving on limestone, which is done by treating the surface with a grease pencil to delimit the drawing and making the engraving according to two procedures: bathing with acid, to corrode the ungreased part and leaving the drawing in relief; or applying two kinds of aqueous ink and grease, fixing the first in the background and covering the second the lines drawn in pencil. It was invented by Aloys Senefelder in 1796.
Screen printing: technique by which prints are obtained by filtering the colors by a silk pattern -or, currently, nylon-, coating with glue the parts that should not be filtered to waterproof them. It was invented in China.
Goldwork is the art of making decorative objects with precious metals or precious stones, such as gold, silver, diamond, pearl, amber, coral, etc. There are different techniques and modalities:
Cameo: is the carving of figures in relief on stratified hard stones, such as agate, sardonic, coral and shell, which usually have layers of different colors, which provides intense chromatic contrasts.
Ceramic is made with clay, in four classes: porous red-yellowish baked clay (pottery, terracotta, sponge cake); white porous baked clay (crockery); gray, brown or brown non-porous baked clay (stoneware); compact white non-porous baked clay (porcelain). Other variants are the majolica and the faience, both of stannous ware: the first term is used mainly in Italy and the second in the rest of Europe. It can be made manually or mechanically -with a lathe-, then it is baked in the oven -at temperatures between 400º and 1300º, depending on the type-, and it is decorated with enamel or paint.55 The decoration can be: excisa, applications in relief made with mud; incisa, a drawing drawn on the mud still tender; with molds, applied on the soft surface of the clay; polishing, made on the baked clay; sgraffito, application of various colors that are then torn according to the desired effect; and marbled, mixing several dyes with a fat, creating veins in the ceramic.
Lacquer is a glossy, thick and solid varnish, extracted from mineral or vegetable resins and coming from the Far East. This varnish is applied on objects of various materials: wood, metal, ceramics, paper or leather. The technique of lacquer begins with a first application of coarse lacquer, which is covered with several layers of fine lacquer, the last of which will be of the desired shade; then decoration is made, which can be paint with a brush, by carving or incision, with incrustation of other materials, or by spraying gold or silver; finally, a final lacquer is made with several layers of translucent lacquer.
Eboraria is the work of ivory, which is obtained from the elephant horns. It can be applied in inlaid wood and, as an individual work, in carved, drawn and painted ivories. The carving begins with the cutting of the tusk into pieces or “boats”, with which the object is shaped and subsequently decorated and, at times, polychrome. The draft is similar to the previous one, with a more refined technique that imitates the fretwork size of the wood. The painted ones used to be plates of ivory on a wood frame, on which pigments with brush were applied.
Feathers are keratinous structures of the skin of birds. In general, they are joined to other supports -generally woven- by stitching, gluing or assembling them. Its main use was in pre-Columbian America.
Basketry is one of the oldest crafts in the world is that of containers of vegetable fibers locked together. The oldest technique is basket weaving in spiral, made with reeds, straws or twisted fibers in the form of rope and spirally wound giving them the desired shape, generally spherical or ovoidal. Another technique is braiding, which is done by winding long pleats sewn with fibers. Third, the interweaving is achieved by weaving the fibers on a wicker frame.
This instrument for giving air has often been the object of decoration and, at times, it has been placed inside houses as a decorative object. They can be rigid, but most are collapsible. They usually consist of a folding surface (country) of cloth, paper, gauze, lace or kid, with rods (guides) of wood, ivory, nacre, lacquer or shell; the two end rods are called shovels. The exposed part of the rods (sources) can be decorated with openwork, gilded or other techniques.
Glíptica is the art of carving precious or semiprecious stones for the manufacture of stamps, coins or medals. It is usually made in cameo or in carving, and sometimes in a round shape, usually in small pieces. The work of these pieces is carried out with abrasives and grinders with blunt or sharp heads.
Binding is the covers of a book have the main function of conserving their content of external agents, although often they have been object of ornamentation. The joining of the folds can be done with sewing, gluing or other procedures. The covers can be made of papyrus, wood, leather, leather (gold, chiseled or embossed), cardboard or other materials, sometimes with applications of enamel, goldsmith or eboraria.
Watchmaking is a instrument to measure time has often been an object of ornamentation and, over time, has evolved both technologically and stylistically. There are many types of watches: sun, water (clepsydra), sand, ring, bracket, poster, grandfather, banjo, high box, float, balloon, lantern, pedestal, skeleton, parliamentary, regulator, etc.
The toys fulfill in the first place the practical function for which they are created, the children’s games, but on occasion they have been used as ornamental objects in the interior decoration. Constructed in numerous types and materials, its utilitarian function has been an inconvenience in many occasions for its conservation, reason for which it is also difficult to establish a historical evolution. Some of the most used modalities in decoration have been dolls and dollhouses, automatons, puppets and puppets, lead soldiers, rocking horses, kites, reproductions of weapons, trains and cars, etc.
Arts and Crafts movement:
The lower status given to works of decorative art in contrast to fine art narrowed with the rise of the Arts and Crafts movement. This aesthetic movement of the second half of the 19th century was born in England and inspired by William Morris and John Ruskin. The movement represented the beginning of a greater appreciation of the decorative arts throughout Europe. The appeal of the Arts and Crafts movement to a new generation led the English architect and designer Arthur H. Mackmurdo to organize the Century Guild for craftsmen in 1882, championing the idea that there was no meaningful difference between the fine and decorative arts. Many converts, both from professional artists’ ranks and from among the intellectual class as a whole, helped spread the ideas of the movement.
Arts & Crafts movement revaluation of craft work and advocated the return to traditional forms of manufacturing, stipulating that art should be as useful as it is beautiful. Following the approaches of Ruskin and Morris, Charles Robert Ashbee was the main organizer of the movement. In 1888 he founded the Guild and School of Handicraft in Toynbee Hall (London), where he designed furniture, silverware and metalwork in a style close to modernism.
In the United States, this movement – called American Craftsman – was represented by Gustav Stickley, designer of a simple and functional type of furniture, without ornaments, that he began to build in series, with a view to greater commercialization of his products. In general, these artists abandoned the neo-gothic style for a simpler, lighter and more elegant style, partly inspired by the Reina Ana style. In the 1890s, modernist influence was received.
The influence of the Arts and Crafts movement led to the decorative arts being given a greater appreciation and status in society and this was soon reflected by changes in the law. Until the enactment of the Copyright Act 1911 only works of fine art had been protected from unauthorised copying. The 1911 Act extended the definition of an “artistic work” to include works of “artistic craftsmanship”.