July 31st, 2011 _ _
My friend Susan Karp and her family are leaving Paris this week. She has most probably ticked more off her must-do-in-Paris list in the one year that she’s been here than I have in my twenty. For my birthday she invited me to Le Restaurant du Palais Royal, somewhere that I’ve always wanted to eat, so we had the pleasure of ticking it off our lists together.
After meeting at the fountain, then casually ambling through the sunny gardens of the Palais Royal, we strolled through the stone arcades checking out boutiques of covetable objects, until we reached the restaurant.
To seat us, the waiter led us through a gateway in the arcade onto the terrace which had a striped awning for a roof and the same stone as the arcade for a floor. We stepped down off the terrace to walk along a clackity wooden walkway laid on the dust to get to our table. Our table spanned the width of the terrace and the person looking out towards the gardens was slightly higher than the person facing the arcade, because of the sloping ground. In the space of a minute all these details made me feel that I was perched on a boat moored to a parisian colonnade.
My tartare once ran in a field, Susan’s once swam in the ocean. My desert was raspberries and cream whipped into a monolith, Susan’s was raspberries and cream fashioned into a hausmanian palace. (Excellent food). We discussed the pros and cons of living in Paris. Susan wass so funny about the cons about buying kids shoes that the the cons could have won out, but an unspoken argument won for the pros, a table in one of the best locations in the world.
July 19th, 2011 _ _
I initially went into the Tino Zervudachi gallery because of the charms of last weeks table, but after I’d left, it was the charming poetry of this console that stayed with me.
The tree is of sculpted plaster over a metal armature, which supports two layers of a brèche rouge marble table-top. This marble table-top is irregularly supported and highly veined, so the fact that there are two layers of marble strengthen it to avoid cracking and allow it to stay unframed. The mottled pattern and raggedy edges accentuate the tree thing, and the white patches pull it in with the base.
Many possibilities come to mind as to what kind of objects to place on it, it easily lends itself to still life configurations, but my favourite fantasy with this console is of the tiny decorations that I would dangle from it at Christmas.
July 12th, 2011 _ _
In the window of the Tino Zervudachi gallery, alongside the alley of trees in Palais Royal, I glimpsed this poised gazelle. It was ever so still, so I crept nearer, to have a good look at this magnificent creature.
At first I thought the legs were black, until the gallery assistant told me that they suspected that it might be rosewood. Looking closer the reddish brown tones became apparent as did the three elements that constructed each of the four limbs. It was designed by the Italian Carlo Graffi in around 1950, who’s expressive and organic work with wood can appear to be quite contemporary. Thankfully the table-top is glass as any other material would just ruin the view, this is not the only table with a glass top and an organically formed wooden base that he designed and I feel that it must have been one of his favorite themes to work on.
Last weekend this table was featured in the “Haut Cuisine Haut Couture” event in Palais Royal. I hope that it didn’t catch someones eye as I’d be sad to see it go.
July 5th, 2011 _ _
A few months ago I helped my father throw out a misshapen wooden garden table that had seen too much weather and too little protection. Too bulky to be moved for storage indoors it was in a hurry to rot back into the ecosystem, as if discontent with the form that humans gave it. Had it been a metal garden table, it would allow itself a little corrosion at the edges to be polite to it’s surroundings, but it’s true to it’s nature it would hold it’s human given shape.
I instantly loved this Filaciel folding and extending metal garden table at the “Maison et Objet” exhibition in January. It reminded me of the traditional tables in Parisian parks but, dare I say it, this one is finer. Beautifully finished in a range of powder coated matt colours, it is particularly resistant to weathering . Manufactured in Spain, there is no clumpy welding and the mechanism for extending the table is small, robust and fluid. The thin expanse of table-top stays flat as it is rigidified by its drop-down edges. Long openings lighten it and prevent puddles forming.
This tables also has a brilliant patented gadget. It has legs, that upon pulling a small knob, simply fold away. The Filaciel table really makes me miss having a garden, so maybe for the next exhibition the Filaciel people could perhaps come up with a fold away garden for Parisians.