The Grammar of Ornament

Studio philosophy

This studio draws on Owen Jones's Grammar of Ornament published in 1856. Jones's book is an encyclopaedia of the ornament of all nations from the classical world to the Europe, the Americas and the newly colonised Africa of the time. As well as studying ornamental form by geographical region it also, unusually for its time, examines design and ornament in religious context. The volume is a pictorial dictionary of flora and fauna and how nature has been the basis of ornament for millennia.

This studio examines and explores this rich source as a starting point to inspire and inform the maker, designer and restorer. The use of ornament over centuries has been used not only to decorate objects and buildings but to also be integral to structure and meaning. This studio echoes this point, and decoration is considered both as surface decoration as well as integral to structure and function in its widest sense.

The Grammar of Ornament


Course Furniture (FdA)
Furniture Making Short Course
Furniture Restoration (FdA)
Restoration and Conservation (BSc)
Where CR404, 41 Commercial Road
When Tuesdays, Fridays
Tutor Alex Schouvaloff
John Cross
Alex Law

Studio images

The Grammar of Ornament Workshop Hand Finishing

Hand Finishing 

 Work in progress
The Grammar of Ornament Work in Progress


Orlando Argieri
Rebecca Gee
Mercia Gusmao
Jacob Bailey Howes
Nick Kingswell
Lloyd Meredith
Amber Ormerod
Joanne Phelan
Cathy Silverman
Jemma Sullivan
Sarah Vaz
Maggie Willans

Paul Ash
Gavin Breary
Rosanna Bright
Michael Cox
Monica Dixon
Sara Eskola
Simon French
Laura Haines
Linda Kemp
Donna Knights
John Marc
Alexandra Miller
Anastasia Papageorgopoulou
Anna Pokorska
Matthew Roast
Weza Toplak
Steve Tyrell
Kelly Young