Sunday, September 12, 2010

Something has Changed in the Design World


After visiting the international exhibition MAISON & OBJET in Paris it’s obvious to me that something has deeply changed in the design world: consumers are moving toward  something more natural with more value and more meaning:  recycled, sustainable and ethnic. These three words summarize the current trend. 



Rattan Raffles Four Drawers Chest at gratcom


Hand-loomed fabric in milk protein fiber, produced in Mali.




Traditional linen embroidered curtains from Morocco



Petrified wood natural “sculpture”

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Lost Art of Ironing


The notebook pictured below is the work of  a school girl that dates from the beginning of the 20th century.  Each page illustrates the techniques of ironing and the methods of folding the various items that are part and parcel of the household linens.  A separate page is devoted to each individual item (sheets, pillow shams, tablecloths, napkins,  shirts, handkerchiefs…..) opposite its own written page of explanation.  Clearly a significant amount of time was relegated to not only the maintenance but also the beauty of presentation of these seemingly ordinary objects!

The first two pages below describe how to iron a handkerchief:

  1. spread out the handkerchief  face down with the monogram and  the selvaged edge at the top
  2. fold such that the bottom selvage exactly meets the top selvage
  3. double one more time bringing the fold to the selvage
  4. if the monogram is on the left, fold from the right to the left
  5. fold in four and iron the hem on the face of the fabric



The three pages  below illustrate a variety of styles for folding a dinner or a tea napkin. Each image is carefully described on the facing page.


The steps to follow for ironing a dinner napkin


A variety of decorative examples for ironing and folding tea napkins.  The monogram is always in a position of prominence.


The page below describes how to iron and  fold fancy pillow shams. The way the sham is folded depends on the location of the monogram such that it’s visible and highlighted once the sham is folded.


Ironing and folding one’s nightgown



Ironing and folding a man’s dress shirt


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Monday, May 24, 2010

Gardens in the City: Paris in Bloom


In big cities gardens have a special meaning as they bring a feeling of natural beauty and peace into a harsh environment.  In the northern hemisphere May and June are often optimal months for city gardens.  I just returned from a quick trip to Paris and its gardens, big or small, were breathtaking!  Before such luxury it becomes instantly clear why so many people love Paris. 



The Eiffel Tower in uncommon garb – jacarandas in full bloom! 



The “Palais Royal,” is located smack in the middle of the crowds and traffic jams of Paris.  However, nestled inside its 18th century buildings there is a beautiful and peaceful garden where the noisy city seems far away.   This garden, virginal in its appearance today, was nevertheless in the 18th century a torrid center of debauchery!



Luxembourg Gardens is one of the favorite promenades for Parisians who live in the 6th arrondissement, one of the most chic quarters of Paris. As soon as the sun comes out the crowds arrive, but if you wander a little off the beaten path you will find many hidden oasis of calm such as the one pictured above. And if you want to learn how to prune your fruit trees, you’ve come to the right place:  not only are there more than 200 species of apple and pear trees alone, but there’s also an exclusive school located in the middle of these gardens for pruning fruit trees. 



In May, when it’s time to buy potted plants and flowers for your terrace, there is no scarcity of selection.  At Moulié, Place du Palais Bourbon, you won’t be disappointed!  As elegant a florist as one would hope to find, Moulié is located just a stone’s throw from the French Parliament and adds some light and color to a square otherwise dominated by blue uniformed policemen.





  One of the oldest places in Paris to buy flowers and plants is Quai de la Mégisserie, right in the heart of the city and just along the Seine.  






Happy are those who live in this house, peeking out behind the red tulips and just between the Musée des Arts Premiers and the Eiffel Tower. This neighborhood is one of the most luxurious in Paris. This quaint house in the middle of the Bercy Gardens is named the House of Gardening. Even those who live on a barge like to have their own private tiny garden. 

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Gift Selection

42a 42k 42w

A 1903 photographic portrait on Japanese paper by GERTRUDE KÄSEBIER, an American photographer born in 1852 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Estimate: $1800 at Lemperetz

An elegant amber beaded necklace, Paloma Picasso for Tiffany & Co

Sotheby's New York

Estimated 7 500 - 10 000 USD

Boathouse Stripe Organic Bath Towels


42r 42q 42v

sugars with pram

Travel in style with the Meris Duffle Bag by Amy Butler

Oregon Flute



Christe Eleison

Catellani & Smith

A seascape watercolor by Louis Faye


Brooch, René Lalique, 1900
Pearl, enamel, diamond and molded glass roses. Sotheby's New York
Estimate 20.000- 30 000 USD

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Is "Nature Morte" dead ?


Everyday objects have always been a source of inspiration for artists. From the Flemish painters of the Renaissance to Morandi in the 20th century still life painters have found the essential beauty in ordinary objects. With modern art the most common objects have become a kind of obsession. These are no longer the essence of beauty but rather the ugly evidence of the consumer society.




Ricard Hamilton, 2008
Since the late 1980s Bethan Huws (born 1961, Bangor, Wales, UK ) has produced a wide ranging body of work that is acclaimed by the modern art world.

Hotel Dry Cleaning, 1998
Jason Dodge was born in 1969 in Newton, Pennsylvania, USA. He lives and works in New York and Berlin. For Dominic Eichler of Frieze Magazine "he is a clever imitator, an expert illusionist with the sharp eye and deft hands common to conjurors"



Apolinere, 2008
"Unique work" by Bethan Huws

Left Glove Burnt By Gold, 2008
Jason Dodge





Shoes, 2006
Marius Engh

Pair, 2004/2005
Hreinn Fridfinnsson (1943-)
Hreinn Fridfinnsson is one of the leading classics of Icelandic conceptual art


At a time when sport shoes are more and more the shoes of choice, leather is the symbol of conservatism or coquetterie.

Wicked Witch of West Shoes, 1999

Wonderful Boots

Stan Dann
Stan Dann is an artist from San Francisco, CA


But you know as nobody has ever been able to give a commonly accepted definition of art, there is room for anyone who sees himself as an artist. And fortunately for some people (like me) there still exist artists in the tradition of Chardin or Morandi.



Rodrigo Moynhan (1910-1991)


William Bailey
William Bailey is an American contemporary realisitic paintern born in 1930


Pottery, 2008
Louis Faye


Daniel Enkaoua, 2009


Claudio Bravo


Red, Grey & White Paper, 2005
Claudio Bravo

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Home Decor Inspiration at FIAC 2009


FIAC is one of the big annual art expos in Paris during the month of October. The name FIAC stands for International Fair of Contemporary Art. This year I noticed that many exhibiting artists were inspired by home decor.





The Background of a Hostage Incident, 2009 by the Art & Language Group. The Art & Language group was founded in 1968 in the United Kingdom by artists Terry Atkinson, David Bainbridge(b. 1941), Michael Baldwin (b. 1945) and Harold Hurrell (b. 1940), four artists who began collaborating around 1966 while teaching art in Coventry .


The Art Gallery BISHOP/WEISS exhibits workd by Matt Golden. Matt studied sculpture at the Royal College of Art in London, UK.. ( CV)



Grotto, 2008, by Bettina Buck.

Bettina Buck is a German artist, born in 1974, who studied Fine Arts in Cologne and London. She is represented at FIAC by the Italian Gallery MONITOR.



Empathy by Gyula Varnai.

He is an Hungarian artist born in 1956 who studied mathematics, physics and music. He is represented at FIAC by ACB.


Table Wear


Tea Pot with Shadow by Hand Peter Feldmann.

Hans Peter Feldmann is a German artist born in 1941.



Table by Thomas Smith.

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