Sunday, July 15, 2012

Smitten with a Block Print

I rarely return a second day to the Portland Antique Expo, but I did go back today for several reasons, one for business and another for obsession as well as business. Some of you may know my passion for textiles that seems to have no boundary. I am usually drawn to anything with a beautiful "hand" as well as florals if they are done well. My favorite kind of textile is linen. I love to wear, sew, and collect it. Yesterday, as I was quickly going down all the aisles scanning for things that drew me in, my eye caught the most beautiful French chair covered in a lovely red and white vintage toile. I stared at it with envy and respect, and then as I turned to the right I saw the most exquisite linen textile hanging over a chair.
What is there to not love about this incredible piece? It is 100% linen. It is unmistakably a block print. The design is vibrant, eclectic, and modern even though it was made in the 1930's. For me, it was love at first sight. And it was one of those pieces that took a lot of time to decide whether I should invest in it or not. It was not cheap, but was it worth the price? Absolutely and probably more! So I slept on it, always a risky thing because in the meantime someone could have purchased it. I took the gamble and went back and purchased the eight yards without a single regret. I am relieved it is now in my collection, at least for awhile.
What I love most, other than the fact that it is linen, is that it is such a vibrant, forward design. When I first saw it, I immediately thought of several designers that did comparable designs, Florence Broadhurst from Australia and Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, and Roger Fry who designed for their own company, The Omega Group. These last three were also members of the Bloomsbury Circle in England as well. The designs from all these artists were very innovative and avant-garde, and this is why these kinds of designs always manage to stand the test of time.
Do the math. This piece is over 80 years old and it still would fit today in any of our contemporary surroundings. It is a gem, beautiful in its design, color and richness all gathered together on a piece of exquisite linen. I will have to part with it, unfortunately, but I will admire it as long as I can. It will be for sale on my website soon with an interesting story to accompany it.


Elizabeth said...

Hi Phyllis,

Your new website looks fantastic. I love the photos of the pears; the colors seem to translate very well. I think I am going to have to come see you soon for a sample pot of the new color and a quart of Aubusson Blue. Oh and one of those syringes. What a great idea! And I definitely want to see you one more time in your shop on Lovejoy (fond memories of the reawakening of my creative muse). I am so excited for you for the move you are making.

Best as always,


Christine Marie said...

I wish I could have gone! I bet there was some good stuff there! I love that print. I love how it has history and a contemporary edge at the same time.