May Palette

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The colours, textures and cocktails inspiring us this month


1.     Anahi Restaurant in the Marais District of Paris

2.     Dedar fabric – Present Perfect

3.     Illuminated Crystal Cluster sculpture in gray hand-blown glass by Jeff Zimmerman

4.     The Book of Shells by M.G. Harasewych and Fabio Moretozsohn

5.     Fig and thyme rum cocktail

6.     Ilorou Stool made of natural hemp rope by Christian Astuguevielle

7.     Kunming scarf by Sandro

8.     Summer bouquet by Ruby & The Wolf

9.     Rose Beetle sculpture by Edouard Martinet

10.   Unité d'habitation red stair

November Palette

 A few of our current inspirations. Only 40 days left until the official start of winter and 44 until Christmas...

1. Suite One Studios - Burlap Trays with Gold Stripe

2. Annie Turner Ceramics

3. Calacatta Verde Marble

4. C and C Milano - Alba Linen/ Cotton in Snow Stone

5. Kasthall Marocco Woven Rug 

6. Sackcloth and Ashes Wallpaper

7. Cutter and Squidge - Apple Crumble Biskies

8. Byredo - Gingembre Candle



Decorex 2015

This year's Decorex was situated in the grounds of Syon Park in what was a muddy field due to the unrelenting rain we had over the last week. Blue overshoes were passed out and beautiful shoes were saved. The event had a few newcomers as well as stands by four specialist craftsman where the products' application processes were brought life. A few of our favourites...

de Gournay wallpaper, Making Luxury

de Gournay wallpaper, Making Luxury

Conker Brown

Conker Brown

Atelier Alain Ellouz

Atelier Alain Ellouz

Marcin Rusak

Marcin Rusak

RAA Summer Exhibition

Warm summer days may not be a guaranteed part of the English summer but The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition has been a constant on the London summer scene every year since 1768. This year’s exhibition is full of electric colours – the exhibition begins with the Jim Lambie’s ZOBOP stairs leading to the Halls. The video of this installation is worth watching and shows a time lapse of the meticulous laying of the bright vinyl tape to the Royal Academy’s neoclassical stair. ( Coordinating the Summer Exhibition’s installation is Michael Craig-Martin RA with walls painted in magenta and bright teal. There are exciting arrangements of painting, sculpture, and various mediums of contemporary art displayed in the 10 halls. A few of our favourites:

Liam Gillick’s by Applied Projection Rig hangs in halo above Matthew Darbyshire’s figure Doryphoros made of polycarbonate plastic in multicolour. Right: The magenta walls of Hall III

Left: Looking into Anish Kapoor’s Perspex Sculpture in Gallery VI. Right: This arrangement in Room II perfectly sums up the currator, Gallery II, Jock McFadyen;s them of ‘radical landscape’ and a collection that alludes at an interpretation of modern Britain, including a Damien Hurst’s Harry Hill and of course Simon Jean Samtula. 

Top: Duplex Etching: Yellow, Orange by Ivan Davenport


‘A Humument’ by Tom Phillips is displayed solely in Room X and is a collection of second-hand book pages which have been collated and recreated through collaging and painting over each page. 


I am currently reading a well-known, well-received and very beautiful book, The Hare with the Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal. It was a recommendation from a close friend who knows my obsession with all things miniature. It traces the journey of 264 netsuke, pocket-sized masterpieces carved from wood and ivory, that are acquired by a wealthy member of his family back in 1870s Paris.  He has a love of collecting and Japanese objets d’art, in particular, hold a fascination for him.  The sensory nature of their materials and the history carried within this captivates both the collector and the book’s author.

It was, by chance then, that I had this on my mind when we stepped into the Wanderlust exhibition at the RAA today.  Displaying the works of Joseph Cornell, the exhibition is full of what, at first glance, could be the hoardings of the most avid collector. These tiny pictorial narratives are exactly that - a collection in every sense of the word. Each box, each picture, each treasure, has been made from the fruits of decades of delving into the flea markets and antique shops of New York.  

Like the netsuke, which could take one man and his knife years to carve into its final form, Cornell’s works span a lifetime of his thoughts and imaginings.  Many of the pieces have recurring and, in some cases, continuing narratives.  Walking from one to the next you feel drawn into a whimsical story, more sophisticated than a child’s tale but told with the nostalgia of someone who remembers them well.  You feel that he might have returned to these pieces over time, adding something here and there, stretching the story around another corner, leaving another piece of himself in the puzzle.

Each work, always displayed carefully in a casement or container of Cornell’s making, feels crafted and cared for.  This is a person who took great joy in the small and the delicate and who, as children do, found treasures everywhere he looked.  The value of those treasures is held in the story they tell, not their monetary worth.  

The feel of an object, it’s tactility if you like, is also part of the treasure.  Cornell displays scrolls of tiny text, bundled up into a box as if they were archived.  Only by taking them out do you discover their true nature - boxes in camouflage hiding their bounty within. 

A traveller’s box instructs you to “KEEP FLAT” when really you need to turn it on it’s head, shake out each of the compasses neatly stored within and see what is unearthed beneath.

Similarly, the netsuke were to be held within the hand so that the full depths of their identity can only be revealed when the visual connects to the tangible.  You must feel the path of the craftsman’s tool to understand his story.  Both artist and collector, Cornell demonstrates the connection between maker and object; story and reality. 

Images sourced here