Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sebastopol's Quirky Metal Art by Patrick Amiot

We have driven through Sebastopol many times when up in Sonoma county. We love the Backpacker cookies from the Sebastopol Cookie Company, so we swing through this little town in the middle of California apple country whenever we are in the area.

One thing you cannot miss as you drive along the highway into town from Santa Rosa are the larger than life metal sculptures along the road.  Once in town, you'll find more of these incredible, quirky objects along the Gravenstein Highway and on the artist's residential street, Florence Avenue.

The artist is Sebastopol resident Patrick Amiot, who does these metal artworks for fun (and a few bucks, too!)  I took these photos last week when we were in the area.

This Noah's Arc is worth a few extra views.

For an informative interview with Amiot, check out this edition of Bay Area Backroads. Or this video of the show.

This blog site also is loaded with other photos worth looking at.  Or just drive on up to Sebastopol and view these fun artworks in full 3D.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Craftsman Tile from Janet Ontko

Janet Ontko is inspired by the simplicity and style of the Craftsman Movement: the honesty of the materials, the look of the clay, the touch of the potter. The return to the craft tradition compelled Janet to develop her own signature style.  We love her tiles and have offered them here at Vintages for several years.  We have now added her tiles to our online shopping site.
Decorative Clay Tiles • Here in tan and heather glazes • $45.95
Janet explains her inspiration and methods:
My inspiration for creating these clay forms comes from my love of nature and nostalgia for vintage ceramic styles.  I've worked with clay all of my life and enjoy interpreting nature's details creatively.  By combining the two together, I have designed a distinct ceramic form for home and garden.  Each clay form is handmade using century-old techniques.  Glazed and kiln fired, they vary slightly in design and appearance making each one unique.
Welcome Clay Tiles • Here in white and heather glazes • $49.95
The incredible glazes created by Janet are translucent, much as were the glazes of the great American potteries of the early 1900s.  We hope you enjoy her work as much as we do.  Please peruse our shop site or drop by our store to see more of Janet's tiles.  And if we do not have the design or glaze you want, we will be happy to place a special order for you.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Art Nouveau Pansy Jewelry

The jewelers of the late-Victorian period were masters at creating delicate floral designs.  Fancy jewelry made in shiney gold and embellished with precious stones displayed the influence of Art Nouveau and the prosperity of the early 1900s.  These were the high times for Rene Lalique's fanciful jewelry, Cartier's flashy brooches and Tiffany's best designs.
Lalique Poppies Necklace
Lalique Cattleya Hair Comb
Cartier Tutti-Fruitti Necklace
Tiffany Bird Bracelet
We are fortunate to offer two magnificent pieces from this time period.  Both are solid 14k gold with delicate enamel pansies and old cut diamonds.  Both are masterfully hand crafted of several independent pieces carefully put together with solid reinforced joints.  This is truly Old World Craftsmanship.

The Pansy Brooch is quite large and has three shiny enameled pansies on gold stems with gold leaves.

The Pansy Bracelet is decorated with three pansies that are painted with a silvery enamel.  The articulation of the bracelet is an artwork in itself.

Both of these gorgeous pieces are offered on our antiques online site.  More details and photos can be found there.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The San Francisco Fall Antiques Show • Oct 28-31, 2010

 If you have never been to this magnificent antiques show, you really should get there.  It is filled with museum quality antiques in a showroom type setting.  The show is at Fort Mason in the beautiful Marina district, between Fisherman's Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge on San Francisco Bay.

The San Francisco Fall Antiques Show bills itself as the oldest continuously operating international antiques show on the West Coast. The Show features approximately seventy dealers from across the United States and Europe, offering for sale an extraordinary range of fine and decorative arts representing all styles and periods including American, English, Continental, and Asian furniture, silver, ceramics, glass, jewelry, rugs, textiles, paintings, prints, and photographs. The show is fully vetted and the dealers are all extremely knowledgeable.

Whether you are in the market for a fantastic old piece, want to attend one of the excellent lectures, or just enjoy the museum-like experience, this show is worth it.  The themed exhibit and lectures are focused on Chinoiserie, that design approach that incorporates the wonders of Asian motifs into Western objects.

the five o'clock teaspoon

This is one of the most delightful blogs you will find.  The five o'clock teaspoon is gorgeously photographed, deliciously written and impeccably tasteful.   And it is filled with useful and interesting ideas.

The author's profile tells it best:
This blog is an exploration of culinary and garden arts, inspired by objects of material culture such as the five o'clock teaspoon, a requisite accoutrement for the afternoon tea ritual that became popular in Britain and America in the second half of the 19th century. Topics range from the kitchen garden and arts of the table to historical and contemporary foodways and original recipes.

Every post is a culinary lesson, with photos, historical context and a recipe or two.  (All photos in this post are courtesy of the five o'clock teaspoon.)  Love it ... hope you will too.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Exotic Hawaiian Farmers' Markets on Kauai

Exotic Starfruit from the Farmers' Market on Kauai
We just got back from a short vacation on the island of Kauai.  Besides being home to the wettest spot on earth, the Waimea Canyon (aka - the Grand Canyon of the Pacific), superb beach side resorts and ... well you know all the superlatives about Hawaii ... It's not just a State, it's a State of Mind.  We visited a couple of farmers' markets to see what exotic fruits were available.   It was fun and we definitely found some interesting produce.
Farmers' Market near Hanalei
Island lemons, sweet pineapples and exotic starfuit.
There are a lot of farmers' markets on Kauai.  We stopped at one just beyond Hanalei which was an old fashioned tent market with an old time Hawaiian feel.  The other was over near Poipu in a new shopping center that was a bit more upscale, but had a lot of the same produce.  Both were places were you could chat with the farmers and sample the taste of the tropics.
Colorful Dragon Fruit or Pitaya
Hawaiian Papayas      
Sliced fruit ready for tasting. 

The variety is endless ... and delicious.
Next time you visit Hawaii, or any rural area, stop and taste the bounty at roadside stands, farmers markets and local stores.  You just might find a new and exotic favorite.  Aloha!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tricia's Ribbons & Fine Things

Our good friend Tricia has started a new blog - Tricia's Ribbons & Fine Things.  Tricia is a fantastic crafter and artist, as well as a collector of interesting things.  We look forward to following her thoughts and photos.
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