Spring is now in full swing and longer sunny days are almost here. Sand and sea will be on the agenda soon but let’s not look too far forward and ‘enjoy the moment now’ a wise sage said and it is was sound advice – live for the day and don’t think about tomorrow - you will find tomorrow becomes yesterday!
As I was in Paris I popped into see Marie Edith who we procure our exotic skins from. It's important that we visit her atelier to see the selection of beautiful reptile skins available as we buy skins for specific products in mind so we like to hand select our skins especially to ensure we minimise wastage.
This month we are adding European short breaks with a bit of arts and artisanal work.
The day for the editor was for ‘antiquing’ not just meandering so Saturday morning is a quick overview of the street markets. The Marches aux Vanves trestle tables and back of vans or rugs on the floor is the style of vending so very hit and miss and cash only and you can spend nothing or 2k (euro’s). So on some trips you return with all your cash and others one requires more! Then it’s to the other side of town to Saint Ouen
In recent years, the Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen seemed on survival mode but now Marche Serpette Paul Bert is thriving and for the best antiques look no further. Most of the booths and “shops” seemed occupied and the restaurant Paul Bert that serves traditional French fayre has expanded...read more
Whilst antiquing hands free is essential so back pack and cross over bag are perfect, accented with the art deco influenced shawl
Grace space and slow pace, cool in 50 shades of white, with wood floors, solid stone basins and bath and interesting rippled oblong tiles in the bathroom alongside beautiful lighting. With magnificent views of the sea it is the oasis that one is looking for on a short break, only six rooms so also perfect for a small party with the only danger being that one might arrive and not leave your room for the whole stay!...read more
With all that sea and sun a coral scarf is a must as is the canvas city ruck sack
Furniture designer/maker Tim Germain was my vice (I always like the connotation) and he was a great supporter of mine when I was chairman of the Suffolk Craft Society and Sarah Thane, the currant chair, concurs. He emailed me last week as he is selling off some of his sample and competition work. I have always liked this desk and I only wish that I were not in ‘de-acquisition’ mode! However, I thought it would be an opportunity to showcase his work in our newsletter and maybe inspire one or two of you to consider him for a commission.
This particular desk saw Tim crowned Bespoke person of the month by the FT’s ‘How To Spend It’ and is made using the most beautiful splatted English elm, with American black walnut (solid and veneer), lacquered steel and toughened glass and is now available at the ex-demo price of £3,000 (no VAT but delivery is extra). Tim undertakes the whole process single-handedly in his workshop on the Suffolk/Essex border and, like all our products, it is all hand-crafted in the UK
We still sell handmade leather covered wooden boxes and attaché cases, with all the wooden shells having beautiful dove tail joints and for our attaché cases we use a lightweight sprung cedar wood shell before covering in leather.
Getting inspired by unique hand crafted products is a mantra at Pickett and seeing other associated heritages of craft is rewarding to discover especially when you come across the last working intertype hot metal machine in the UK that produced the layout of front page of The Daily Express from 1929 until automation took over. From mid evening when the first editions were produced to the last edition in the early hours the front page was constantly being altered and now it is used by our book binders so seeing it in action was a great experience especially when my name was typed in and the metal line came out of the machine almost simultaneously - almost too hot to handle! It’s great to see Bill working at the bindery and Theo embossing our products here still using these traditional methods.
Our in-house hand embossing service is perfect for personalising all of our products
America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s
It’s interesting that the RA has put the two super-powers together in Burlington House at the same time - Russia in Revolution and American Fall. Looking at trouble and strife within each of these countries – both shows are thought provoking.
Whilst the austerity of the Grant Wood on the poster has subliminal sinister drama, it is always interesting to revisit Edward Hopper which has the sense of unsuspecting danger hanging over them. Think back to the ENO’s final set of Jonathon’s Miller productions of Rigoletto, and you can also see Jack Vettriano in the New York Movie
After the dark and the loucheness of Hopper I feel a sense of red flag flying for these shows
I have been introduced to Wingfield Digby through my PR, Zambuni. They are a company inspired by nature and the British countryside creating and making for the interior design industry. Working with feathers they create unique pieces including heat resistant placemats which are a really special addition to the dining table - suitable for either the contemporary or traditional table.
Alongside these they offer a variety of gifts from scented candles and wine coasters, to belts and silk ties for men with new pieces being added regularly to their carefully edited collection. I do like their photo frames which are great to intersperse with ours - always fun to have a bit of mix and match!
Like Pickett, Wingfield Digby is a luxury British family run business.
I like a mix and match interior approach so using our products with W /D’s make a visual complimentary ‘mis en scene’