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La Specola in Firenze

I’ve fulfilled my lifelong dream to visit the world’s first Natural History Museum ‘La Specola’ in Florence. I’ve had a copy of the book Encyclopaedia Anatomica since I can remember and for whatever reason have pawed over the images of the anatomical wax models, and the rather racy silk pillows and silver fringed shrouds they are kept on. They did not disappoint. 

This was a few small rooms of the complete museum. First up was the geology section and the main body was room after room of taxidermy, few labels, an air of benign neglect and absolutely perfect. Everything just being what it is and dished out in the way it was as it opened in the 18th century. It must have been mind blowing. 

I lament the updating of museums to include ‘experiences’ and wish the air of quiet respect and revery were still the flavour of the day.

A panther made of Jasper with eyes of Citrine quartz circa 16th century with a 17th century silver base.
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Love at first sight cc – tapis handmade rugs at Maison & Objet

Nothing enlivens a room quite like an exciting rug, I often dream about designing the most outlandish rugs in terrific colour ways.

It was love at first sight last Friday when I came across the cc-tapis stand at Maison & Objet in Paris. It looks like they’ve been working with that brief all along. What a thrill to find cc-tapis. Now I can dream about designing rugs for them.

 

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Smythson Styling

 

It’s wonderful to see my End of Day Confetti lamp and Classical Urn decoupage tray used in Smythson’s Christmas campaign. What a thrill to see them in such good company. 

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Developments in Alphabet Brush Pot Land

It’s full steam ahead in the studio from now until Christmas, keeping on top of orders and making sure everything makes it to it’s destination in time. Amongst the hustle and bustle I still find the time to come up with a new colourway for the Alphabet Brush Pots. Realistically, I can’t see these being available this side of 2017 but they’re something to look forward to in early 2018! WATCH THIS SPACE!

 
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Oak leaf motif

My weekends have been spent collecting and drawing oak leaves. This weekend I took it a step further and started to cut them out, eventually coming up with my own motif I could happily see as a wallpaper.

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We are recruiting!

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Part Time Production Assistant Wanted for Bridie Hall Ltd.

Bridie Hall is currently looking for a part time studio assistant for four days a week. They will be required to help out with the preparation and finishing of products along with maintaining a neat and tidy studio.

The studio assistant would ideally have a design, painting background with a basic understanding of gesso, gilding, lacquering, though not essential.  They will be working with a broad range of products, decoupage plates, intaglio boxes, geometric shapes, scented candles. Photography and styling know how would be an added advantage. The more skill they are willing to pick up and assist with the more work there will be going forward.

The candidate must be conscientious, meticulous, capable of listening to and following instructions carefully, have excellent attention to detail, be capable of prioritising their workload and able to be confidently left alone to carry out their work. A tidy and methodical approach to work is of upmost importance.

The studio is based in Bloomsbury, Central London, alongside interiors store Pentreath & Hall

Please email c.v. and anything you may think relevant to info@bridiehall.com

Application deadline: 31st August 2017 – Interviewing first week in September with immediate start.

 

Paid Internship for Bridie Hall Ltd.

Bridie Hall Ltd is offering a part-time paid internship running from September – December 2017.

The role is to be of assistance to Bridie Hall and Pentreath & Hall.

Working hours are 10am – 6pm from Tuesday – Friday.

Primarily operations focused. From packing and tracking orders to helping out on the shop floor during busy periods.

 A ‘can-do’ attitude is a must as tasks will be many and varied; prepare to roll your sleeves up!

Principally overseeing wholesale orders dispatched from Bridie Hall Ltd.

For more information, email: info@bridiehall.com with C.V. attached.

Application deadline: 31st August 2017 – Interviewing first week in September with immediate start.

 

 

Francois Halard: A Visual Education

 

Having bought the Francois Halard book months ago and have it sit unopened next to my desk and all the while it’s filled with the interiors of my dreams.

 

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PULSE LONDON TALK. “As maker and retailer – the things I have learned”

 

As both co-owner of Pentreath & Hall and being a decorative artist with a commercial homeware range, I was asked by Pulse London to give a talk last Sunday about what it was like making the transition from being a maker to a retailer. So I presented the following and thought it worth sharing with you too.

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I’ve been asked to talk about my experience of being a maker and how that evolved into then becoming a retailer. But the two have evolved quite naturally together over time, there hasn’t really been any kind of linear progression, it’s been more a case of just going with the flow. I’ll start at the beginning, from when the shop opened and then I’d love to share with you a few things that I’ve learnt over my time.

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Decoupage New and Exclusive to Harvey Nichols

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Portraiture In Clay And Marveling At Marble

 

Eventually admitting defeat to myself that I am never going to be a draughtsman I finally looked to what has been staring me plainly in the face all these years – going three dimensional. I don’t know why I forget that for my graduation show for painting was all sculpture. Dead birds cast in wax if you’re asking.

So, over Summer I attended a ten week portraiture in clay course at City Lit. Working with clay and collecting pottery is a passion so I was excited to be learning a new way to create with it as it’s always been more a conventional utilitarian practice for me. It was also fascinating to learn to see in a different, more anatomical way. Being taught to look through the models skin and into their skull, building up the layers of muscle before applying the skin, I find this endlessly interesting. The process completely sucked me in, although the progress is by no means instant.

I’m looking forward to working on portraiture in this way and have set myself the rather ambitious task of sculpting the Roman Emperors portraits. I’ve been visiting the British Museum regularly to study their collection of marble busts, a completely different technique and medium but the aesthetic I am aiming for. They are so pure and perfect. I have a feeling at some point I’ll be spending a lot of time working on and perfecting the bases they will be displayed on. Oh and faux marble finish them – that could be a happy disaster!

 

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