The Hard Life is a continuation of Jasper Morrison ’s celebration of the ordinary, and offers a new perspective on his design philosophy. His newest book explores the effect that generations of trial and error, individual craftsmanship and an instinct to carve out the essential with the slenderest of means brought to objects that made life both livable and meaningful to a pre-industrial society. The objects photographed and described by Morrison may be appreciated both for their beauty and for the example they set of design at its purest.

Woman shaping butter, Agra, Vieira do Minho, 1961 (left). Shoemaker in Pena el, 1963 (right).
Muzzles for Cattle These muzzles would be tted to cattle to prevent them grazing when crossing elds with crops. The bentwood model is a particularly well made and pleasing object, and probably less irritating for the cow or bull to wear than the rope one. Left: Carreço, Viana do Castelo, l. 20 cm; right: Vila do Bispo, l. 22 cm
Chorizo Roasters Add alcohol, light with a match, place chorizo on top until cooked. A product for urban use rather than rural, as alcohol would not have been ‘wasted’ in this way in a village. Left: Sardoal, l. 21.8 cm; right: Póvoa da Isenta, Santarém, l.19.1cm
Clay Whistles Mostly made as toys for children in various animal forms but occasionally used as musical instruments. Clockwise from Parrot: Barcelos, h.12.5 cm; Santa Maria de Galegos, Barcelos, h. 9.8 cm; Estremoz, h. 9.5 cm; Barcelos, h.14 cm; S. Martinho de Galegos, Barcelos, h.13.6 cm
The Hard Life, book's cover