Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Pomegranate as a Design Element

I like pomegranates a lot. 
They are tasty and healthy, and very rarely do I introduce foods into my diet that are both healthy and tasty. But more than just a 'superfood,' pomegranates are also a recurrent element in design across ages and cultures. Did you know that? No, you didn't? Well, sit yourself right down for a lesson on the pomegranate.

The pomegranate is a fruit native to Asia and, as a result, it figures prominently in many Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Asian cultures. In Greek mythology, the pomegranate was used by Hades to trick Persephone to remain in the underworld as his wife after he kidnapped her from her mother, Demeter, goddess of the harvest. The symbolism of the pomegranate extends to the early Christian and Jewish religion as well, with the fruit representing fertility and 'the promised land'. Additionally, Old Testament Hebrew priests wore robes decorated with embroidered pomegranates along the hem (that I remember from Sunday School!). In Hinduism, pomegranates likewise represent fertility and prosperity.

With such a rich meaning in the culture and religion of many people across the world, it is not surprising that the pomegranate is integrated into design repeatedly. The organic shape is one that appears often in suzanis.

The saturated color in this antique piece, from Ebay, makes it for me:
(via Ebay)


Here's a subtle use of the fruit on a vintage tray:
(via Etsy)

This handmade vase that mimics the pomegranate:
(via Etsy)

Of course, Martha Stewart and her team crafted a clever seating card project out of pomegranates:
...though, given the market price of pomegranates, I hope guests would be allowed to take these home after the wedding.

And, if you are financially inclined, you can find many high-end pieces that utilize the pomegranate, such as this pair of sconces on 1st Dibs:
(via 1st Dibs)

or this iron bar cart, perfect for enjoying drinks on your Palm Beach veranda:
(via 1st Dibs)

So, what say you: do you see the beauty in the pomegranate or just its sheer yumminess?

5 comments:

  1. I can't say I would ever have noticed the pomegranate as a design element. This was really fun reading, thanks! (and they are yummy yummy)

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  2. I have to admit I've never thought much of pomegranates. Love that blue & white pom fabric - so pretty!

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  3. Love this post! The antique fabric is my favorite. It would look amazing framed! What a statement.

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  4. The second textile pretty much takes my breath away. Thanks for the education on pomegranates. I like to eat them, but they are equally amazing to break open and stare at -- like little nestled jewels.
    Camille

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I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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