William Rowe

by Insects.org

The inside front and back covers are filled with the contemporary pattern designs of William Rowe. Dover Publications produced two books of his designs entitled “Nature Fantasy Design: 45 original plates by William Rowe” and “Exotic Alphabets and Ornaments by William Rowe” (ISBN: 0-486-23446-0 & 0-486-22989-0). His subject matter focuses on natural forms with most of his elements being plants, shells, birds, fish, and insects. After looking at his plates, I believe each one to be a result of his own visual links discovered during his observations of nature. Many of the supporting border graphics are related to the main insect subject. For example, the Pierid Poster shows the mottled underwing patternation of a Phoebus butterfly reminding Rowe of the fan venation of a marine mollusk. Another example an be found in the Wasp Poster which shows the parallel between the wing shape and patternation of the wasps and the pore-swollen sori clusters found on the underside of ferns. The more you look at his border elements, the more like of pattern and form can be seen.

Along similar lines to E.A. Seguy, William Rowe’s designs provide the raw imagery of inspiration for a variety of craft applications including quilting and stained-glass.