Discovering

The Bath House, Stratford Upon Avon

Desperate for a break from city life I visited the Landmark Trust website for a daydream and ended up booking a weekend at The Bath House just outside of Stratford Upon Avon. Arriving via a off road track through a pitch black woodland on a dark and stormy Friday night, was the most welcoming accommodation I have ever had the good fortune to visit. Everything is comfortably at arms length in the most perfectly restored octagonal folly that sits a top its very own fresh water spring fed, roman style bathroom. Of course I had to take the icy, yet invigorating,  plunge very early morning, before running up endless stairs to fortify myself in the ready waiting hot bath. It was magic and I’ve tried to keep up ending my morning shower with a blast of the cold ever since, with mixed results if I’m honest. Do book a stay, you will not regret it. You can read more about it here

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Wedgwood Wonderland

Every couple of years I take a trip up to Stoke-on-Trent to look in on pottery projects that are in the pipeline and always manage to fix a visit to the Wedgwood Museum. It’s a Disneyland for adults. I am struck every time that this collection was on the brink of going to auction a few years ago when the company was sold to a private equity firm.

Every display holds the most precious pieces of pottery that were once a part of the everyday. I’m always saddened to think that this kind of quality of craftsmanship is now deemed too labour intensive to viably produce and can’t help but think that this attitude in some way contributes to fanning the flames in no longer valuing domestic objects that are built to last a lifetime. Buy cheap, buy twice I say! Bring back quality pottery!

Speaking of quality, please excuse the quality of the pictures. I was so involved in properly gawking at everything, when it came to composition composure, there wasn’t any!

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The Thorvaldsen Museum, Copenhagen.

For years I’d been yearning to visit the Thorvaldsen Museum in Copenhagen. I’ve always felt it’s pull, a calling almost, from a kindred spirit of another time. It exceeded all my greatest expectations and came away inspired and also mildly depressed I did not live in the Thorvaldsen Museum in Copenhagen. To tell the truth, I feel like that when I visit any good museum.

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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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Production Assistant Wanted

 

Blog

Bridie Hall Ltd is expanding! We are looking for a Production Assistant. The candidate must have a background in art or design and experience in making with a wide range of art materials along with an understanding of the fundamentals of production and time management. An eye for detail is crucial.

 

Starting part-time – Tuesday – Friday 9am – 6pm with a view to becoming full time in due course.

 

Please send your C.V. to info@bridiehall.com along with images of examples of your work.

 

Deadline: Monday 31st July.

 

 

Nothing is Original.

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.”

[MovieMaker Magazine #53 – Winter, January 22, 2004 ]”
― Jim Jarmusch

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Everything you can imagine is real – Picasso

I have been obsessed with this article from a 1988 edition of World of Interiors since I came across it a couple of years ago. It is the C17th château of Bernard Picasso, the grandson of the great man himself who had also lived there throughout the thirties. Bernard had given decorators Elizabeth Garouste and Mattia Bonetti carte blanche to redecorate. Considering the provenance I find what they chose to do quite bold and incredibly charming. It has a feeling of playfulness and fun through the use of colour which I imagine makes living there very comfortable. I’m also in huge favour of the appliquéd curtains with patchwork borders.  The thing that really does it for me is the ultraviolet cabinet fitted with green glass. How can I get something like this in my life? Are there good coloured glass manufacturers in the UK that can make my dreams come true?

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Not everyone is smart, but everyone can be S.M.A.R.T.

Over the weekend I was talking about a problem with someone and trying to work out how best to approach it. ‘Approach it the S.M.A.R.T way’ they said and proceeded to explain what S.M.A.R.T. was. I’d never heard of it before and the more it was explained the more I felt like the clouds were parting.

In a nutshell, S.M.A.R.T. is a mnemonic acronym, giving criteria to guide in the setting of objectives.

Specific – being specific – who, what, where, when. 

Measurable – making it measurable – how will I know when it’s been accomplished?

Attainable –  how and what can I do to make this start to happen?

Realistic – setting small goals create an objective with which you are willing and able to work at the same time each goal should mark substantial progress

Timescale – by grounding everything within a time frame you set your subconscious into motion.  

It helped me immediately realise my method of trying to deal with most things was by attempting to get it all done in one go and that maybe it was time to try things the S.M.A.R.T. way. So I thought of a fun thing to apply it to which in turn can help address a small problem I have at the same time. 

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A part of my massive but lovely notebook problem.

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Workroom Profile V: Melodi Horne Soft Furnishings

I am sitting down with Melina Blaxland-Horne, newly installed in unit 17a Rugby Street here in Bloomsbury, surrounded by her beautiful silk ikat lampshades and cushions. The first question I have to ask her is “Where did the name Melodi Horne come from?”

A smile spreads across her face “Ok but don’t laugh.  No one has ever known this until now.  Me. Lo. Di.  Melina. Loves. Dimitri.” Dimitri, her husband, is sitting to my left “That’s right” he says “This is all about love.”

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