Archive for the ‘anecdotal’ Category

Connecticut Ceramics Study Circle lecture

Sunday, December 10th, 2017

Tomorrow, December 11, 2017, from 1:15pm – 3:00pm, I will be giving a talk at the Connecticut Ceramics Study Circle, at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT. Please stop by if you are in the neighborhood.

Click HERE for more information. Hope to see you there.

 

 

My collection is back, and so am I!

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

After a brief break from posting, I am back with more to share from my collection of antiques with inventive repairs.

Last weekend, the nearly 300 pieces from my collection, on loan to Boscobel for the exhibit Make-Do’s: Curiously Repaired Antiques, were returned to me. I was without them for almost a year and during that time, the suddenly empty shelves in my office slowly filled up with books and other household items. Due to time restraints, rather than methodically return the hundreds of teapots, jugs, plates, cups, goblets, etc. to my shelves in an orderly fashion, I was just able to pile them up all around the house, praying that my 2 young cats, Grady and Oscar, wouldn’t turn my prized repaired pieces back into broken antiques. As I have said before, there’s nothing more redundant than a broken make-do. So far, I am happy to report that everything is still intact!

Looking ahead, I may not be posting every week as I have for the past nearly 7 years, so please be patient with me between lapses in my posts. I have some exciting new projects I am working on and will share the results in the near future. Thank you for following my blog, which continues to bring me great pleasure, as I acquire and research new pieces and write these posts.

Boscobel exhibit extended one week!

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

Due to an outcry from a throng of adoring fans of antiques with inventive repairs, the powers that be at Boscobel House and Gardens have agreed to extended the exhibit, Make-Do’s: Curiously Repaired Antiques. For those of you who did not get the chance to see it, or for those who would like to see it again, you now have until next Sunday, October 8th, to witness the beauty of Boscobel and see hundreds of examples from my collection.

Photos courtesy of Bibiana Famolare

 

Photographing my collection at Boscobel

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

This past week I spent two days documenting the exhibit Make-Do’s: Curiously Repaired Antiques at Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, NY with photographer Joshua McHugh and his assistant Scott Irvine. They did an outstanding job shooting pieces from my collection throughout the house using only natural light.

Here are a few photos I took of Joshua at work and various shots from the exhibit. My sincere thanks to Jennifer Carlquist, Ed Glisson, and the staff of Boscobel for their generosity and support during our time there.

The Beauty of Imperfection at Boscobel

Sunday, July 30th, 2017

Recently at Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, NY, I was on a panel, The Beauty of Imperfection, alongside theatrical set designer Sandra Goldmark and metalwork artist Myra Mimlitsch-Gray. It was moderated by Glenn Adamson, the former Director of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, with an introduction by Jennifer Carlquist, curator of the current exhibition, Make-Do’s: Curiously Repaired Antiques.

The talk was lively and included diverse topics including: aesthetics of repairs, restoration in the decorative arts, contemporary repair cafes, and the return of the relic. At the conclusion, enthusiastic crowd members asked thoughtful questions and made pertinent comments. Clearly, the topics of imperfection and early repairs have made an impact with the public, especially with those who have walked through the rooms of Boscobel and have seen the exhibit.

Photos by Lauren Daisley

Photos by Bibiana Famolare

Boscobel opening reception

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

Yesterday was the opening reception of Make-Do’s: Curiously Repaired Antiques at Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, NY. It was thrilling to see hundreds of pieces from my collection thoughtfully placed within the stunning Federal-style house, as well as in the gallery on the lower level. This first of its kind exhibition was brilliantly curated by Jennifer Carlquist, who freely admits to stalking me for the past 16 years, after seeing my make-do’s featured in Martha Stewart Living. Jennifer’s knowledge, passion, and sensitivity can be seen in the placement of each item in every room of the house and gallery. Thank you Jennifer for allowing my collection to be seen in a new light, in a gorgeous old house.

Special thanks to Executive Director Steven Miller who, without hesitation, bravely said yes to the idea of presenting a show featuring broken objects, and to Edward Glisson for his wonderful displays and technical wizardry seen throughout the gallery. And thanks to my friends and family who made the journey to Garrison to share this special event with me.

I urge you all to come see this exhibit, on view now through October 1. I will be back at Boscobel on July 21 for a panel discussion, The Beauty of Imperfection, moderated by Glenn Adamson, the former Director of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. I will also be giving a talk on Friday, September 22, so come see the exhibit, stroll the grounds, take in the stunning view of the Hudson River and say hi.

Photos courtesy of Mark Randall and Bibiana Famolare

“Pot and Tea” exhibit at HKIA

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

Last weekend, on my return flight home after a three month gig working on a movie in Malaysia and Singapore, I had a four hour layover at Hong Kong International Airport. In my bleary-eyed stupor, I literally stumbled upon this small exhibit, Pot and Tea. Much to my surprise, I discovered many a make-do among the undamaged (I prefer not to use the word “perfect”) ceramics.

Here are some examples of inventive repair from this small, yet well curated, collection. I have included the corresponding labels, misspellings intact.

“Tonkard with Appliqué Decoration, English Imitation of Yixing Ware. Late 17th century.”

“Dutch Teapot in Imitation of Yixing Ware. Early 18th century.”

NUS Museum, Singapore

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

Yesterday I visited the NUS Museum, a beautifully designed and well curated museum on the campus of National University of Singapore. Naturally, I was on the lookout for antiques with inventive repairs and happily, found some examples to write about.

The Lee Kong Chian gallery on the lobby level features Chinese export ceramics from the Lee Kong Chian Museum and the archaeological collection of Dr. John Miksic. Hiding in plain sight was this vase made during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), in Jinjiang, Fujian. Its silver replacement lid and collar were added hundreds of years later.

Also on the lobby level is the Archaeology Library, which includes thousands of excavated ceramic shards and artifacts, on loan from institutions and private collectors.

I spotted this blue & white porcelain hulu (gourd-shaped) ewer from the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) among hundreds of ceramics, in the Resource Gallery on the top level. I have always loved galleries such as this, as they are typically more casual than curated exhibits and have a bit of an antiques shop or flea market vibe.

Make-Do’s: Curiously Repaired Antiques

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

I am pleased to be part of Make-Do’s: Curiously Repaired Antiques, the first exhibition of its kind showcasing inventive repairs, at Boscobel, a Federal period historically restored mansion on the Hudson River in Garrison, NY. The exhibit, which opened today and runs through October 1, 2017, includes numerous forms of inventive repair, including over 150 pieces from my own collection, as well as examples on loan from historical institutions, museums, and individuals. Make-do’s are cleverly displayed within the rooms of the mansion and in a special gallery exhibit. There will be lectures, a repair cafe and other programs relating to the exhibit throughout the summer, so please check the Boscobel website for more details. An illustrated catalogue with essays by Curator Jennifer Carlquist and me is available for purchase in the Gift Shop.

Photos courtesy of Boscobel

Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

Before I travel, one of the first things I do is research the local museums, in hope of finding antiques with inventive repairs. As I am currently in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, working on a movie, in my rare time off I have been searching for make-do’s in local museums. Last weekend I finally hit pay dirt.

This past Saturday, I spent a few hours at the spectacular Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, home to one of the best collections of Islamic decorative arts in the world. Much to my surprise and delight, the museum is filled with many stunning examples of inventive repairs. The wide range includes silver, brass, and wood replacement lids, stems, handles, knobs, and spouts; made in China, Europe, and the Middle East. Strangely, I did not see any examples of staple repair, although I bet some pieces do exist, buried deep within their storage vaults.

Here are some of my favorite pieces and their printed descriptions:

Blue and white porcelain ewer, China and Persia, 17th-19th century.

Blue and white porcelain ewer, Kangxi Period, China, 1662-1722. Blue and white porcelain rosewater sprinkler, Kangxi Period, China, 18th century.

Blue and white porcelain huqqah (sic) base, Qing Dynasty China, late 17th-18th century.

Blue and white porcelain huqqah (sic) base, Kangxi Period, Qing Dynasty, China, 17th century.

Blue and white porcelain rosewater sprinkler, China, c. 17th century.

Blue and white porcelain ewer, Qing Dynasty, China, 18th century.

Engraved brass ewer, Deccan India, 17th-18th century.

Samson pot and cover (Iznik style), France, 19th century.

Underglaze painted vase, Safavid Iran, 17th century.

Underglaze painted ewer, Iran, 17th and 19th century.

Blue and white ewer, Jailing (sic) Period, Ming Dynasty China, late 16th-17th century.