Normandie

My lovely friend Rachel, with whom I will be going to NY in less than 2 days, recently came back from a trip to Normandy. Below are some of the photographs she took of the place:

I had been meaning to give Rachel one of my pieces for a long time. Her pictures of the gorgeous city of Rouen inspired me to make her the bowl below:

Very much looking forward to good travel times with Rachel starting Wednesday! Last time we were in NYC, we lost our passports and were witnesses to one of the biggest snow storms that had hit the city for a long time… I wonder what adventures we will have this time around ūüôā In the meantime, I will be absent from my blog, returning next week.

Repeats

I sometimes think that we never grow up, that certain traits typical of children remain with us forever. Like when we’d give our parents our best art/craft work. In a way, I feel I still do! What was originally made as a vessel is now a pot in my mother’s living room:

But I miss the design a bit, so decided to repeat it. This time in a bowl:

Staple Inn

One of the few Tudor buildings that survived the Great Fire of London of 1666 is Staple Inn on High Holborn. Built in 1545, Staple was one of the nine Inns of Chancery, each of which provided approximately 100 students with accommodation and training in law. The building changed a little during the 19th century and plasterboards were put on the facade to cover the beautiful black and white half timbered structure. The Victorians were ashamed of having medieval buildings still in use in London Рthis was during the expansion of the Empire and they wanted to project London as a new modern city. Below is an image of Staple Inn in 1886:

Staple Inns buildings currently hold the offices of¬†The Institute of Actuaries. They¬†were used as an illustration on tins and pouches of ‘Old Holborn’ tobacco…

…and also on my latest vessel:

NOTE: The photograph of Staple Inn is from wikipedia, as is the one of the 1886 illustration. I found the image of the tobacco tin here.

Victoria Street

Built in the 18th century, Victoria Street is one of the easiest streets to identify in Edinburgh because of its colourful facades. Above it there’s Victoria Terrace, full of pubs and open-air cafes, and which is also used regularly by BBC Scotland as a backdrop for interviews!

When I visited Scotland, over 7 years ago now, I must admit I was more captivated by Glasgow than Edinburgh. I think my love for the Glaswegian bands Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura and Franz Ferdinand may have contributed to this… What I certainly would have never guessed 7 years ago is that I’d be making a Victoria Street bowl!

NOTE: The image of Victoria Street was taken by Wendy Rauw.

Houses on the Plateau

One of the coolest neighbourhoods in Montreal is the Plateau. Right by Mount Royal, ¬†it’s got a brilliant mixture of awesome and colourful architecture, cafes, bookshops and an overall feeling of laissez-faire. The photographs below were taken by yours truly when I was in Montreal for a holiday, exactly one year ago, with my lovely friend Mapi (the gorgeous girl in the bright pink raincoat).

Below is my Houses on the Plateau bowl, which recently came out of the kiln. Pretty obvious inspiration taken from the Quebecois city. What’s more, all of the houses above are pictured in the bowl below, can you spot them?

Gerberoy

About 35km north of Paris lies the delightful village of Gerberoy. Located within the département of Oise, its architecture is rich in half-timbered houses and there are even traces of a medieval castle. It is also listed in the plus beaux villages de France (Most beautiful French villages).

I hold¬†Pinterst¬†100% accountable for the inspiration to do my latest bowl. I saw the photograph above somewhere, clicked, and clicked again and ended up on Jolivillage’s photostream on Flickr. ¬†If my addiction enthusiasm with Pinterest weren’t so, I probably would have forgotten about Gerberoy by now. I wouldn’t have done the sketch below…

…nor would I have taken my sketch to a new level and turned it into a bowl…

NOTE: The image of Gerberoy above is from Jolivillage’s photostream on Flickr, via Pinterest.

Champs-√Člys√©es

Paris is in fashion. But has it ever been out of fashion? No, but I do think that lately there is a wave of All Things Paree in the design world. Pinterest, for one, has a never-ending stream of boards and pins on its style and architecture, and brands like Kate Spade are clearly influenced by Paris in the 60s.

There are so many landmarks in the beautiful French capital I find it difficult to write about each of them and not sound incredibly pretentious, patronizing and try-hard. So today it’s all about the¬†Champs-√Člys√©es, how it’s inspired great songs:

great sketches:

and even better, awesome ceramic bowls done by yours truly:

NOTE: The source of the Champs-√Člys√©es photograph is via Travelling Colours.