Friday, 6 March 2009

At home, with lights, finally...

Bonjour all. Many thanks for your patience as I muddled through the snow and lack of power. The car was extracted from under the tree on Monday afternoon and the lights finally came on Tuesday morning, giving me just enough time to do a quick load of laundry in order to pack my suitcase for a business trip to Nashville. I'm finally on-line and at home and looking forward to my turn as guest blogger for the QCI.

For those of you whom I haven't had the pleasure of meeting, my name is Trisha Johnson. Maggie asked me to put together a few things about myself so here we go:

My husband Ben and I are bonafide Francophiles and I get a bit antsy if I don't have my next trip to France already planned. French films, French cuisine, French faience, French everything! I am also a complete foodie who lives to eat, loves to shop for food, read about food, cook, the whole nine yards. I've never set foot in the Louvre after all these years but I can tell you the best food spots in just about every quartier in Paris. One of my favorite French films has to be the documentary "Etre et Avoir." The children in the film are so sweet and innocent and they have as much trouble conjugating French verbs as I do! My most recently read book about France is "Suite Francaise." The novel captured so well the chaos of war-time France and how people's base desires drive their behavior. The author really captures the internal conflict that the French were going through as the war began. Though the theme sounds quite heavy the book is really a fun read.

I love French faience because it captures the essence of a region so very well. Quimper faïence in particular captures the very nature of the Breton people and records village life in such a lovely way. Every piece has its own story not only of who made the piece but also of the people and culture depicted on the piece. My first Quimper purchase was from the HB Henriot store in Alexandria and it was a banette tray in the Ajoncs decor for my husband to commemorate our first anniversary of meeting (we had not yet married). That Christmas, my mother purchased the matching teapot for Ben and commented that she never imagined she would have a son-in-law who would want a teapot! From there I discovered the antique faience and it was love at first site. At first, the only thing I had access to was antique Desvres faience and since it fit so well with the Provencal decor of our home, I began to buy it regularly. I joined the QCI in 2006 when I began dealing in antique French faience part-time as a respite from being a poultry veterinarian. Though I was quite surprised to hear a very ill chicken at the Annual QCI dinner in Philadelphia last year, only to turn around and find out that it was really Susan Cox! She does quite a fabulous chicken imitation. BE sure to ask her about it the next time you see her...

I must say that I was quite nervous that first club meeting. For some unknown reason, I was afraid that everyone would be pretentious and that they would look at me as some young upstart posing as an antique dealer. Well, for those of you who have never had the pleasure of attending a club meeting, I can assure you that my fears were the farthest thing from the truth! What we found was a warm, witty group of women who embraced us like old friends. And even the husbands were having a great time rather than looking as if they had been drug along against their will. My lovely but introverted husband even had a grand time and was joking with the group by the end of the trip. So if you haven't decided about Dallas, sign right up! Rest assured that you won't find a warmer welcome anywhere and newcomers are embraced.

So what are my plans for this month on the QCI blog? I thought we might chat about decorating with faience and how to enjoy the Quimper that you own. Since I am headed to Paris on March 20, I also thought it might be fun to spend some time talking about where to hunt for faience in Paris then a few posts celebrating that wonderful and beautiful city that Paris is. My mom, sister, and nephew are going with me this time so it will be fun to see Paris through their eyes as well. I might even throw in some things about my favorite places in Brittany. Write a note in the comment section and tell me what you would like to read about this month.


  1. Welcome to the blog, Trisha and thanks for a great opening post. I can't wait to read what comes next.

  2. Hi Trisha, Glad to hear from you. For those who do not know Trish, she is a chicken vet (that explains the chicken comment) Were your chickens ok during the power outage? Enjoyed reading your comments and look forward to any info you will share about finding Quimper in Paris or elsewhere. It may be a while before I make the trip again but I always like to be planning just in case a really good plane fare comes along. My sister, Susan Cox, is busy planning the Dallas meeting and all Trish says is true. If you have never attended a Quimper Club meeting, put it on your "to do list" immediately. We do have fun and welcome new friends. See you in Dallas.

    Diane Robinson
    P.S. Maggie Bryant and Susan Cox will be in Hilton Head during the next few weeks planning the Q meeting in Savannah for the fall of 2010 !! Another must for your "to do list".

  3. HI to all. After I posted the above blog, I noticed that Trish did tell you she was a chicken vet.....I didn't read carefully !!
    We had a great time with Trish during our
    last French Quimper Annual meeting and in Philly. Trish, be sure and come to Dallas in the fall for the opportunity to see some fabulous private collections. Even though Dallas has had a previous meeting, these collections will be fresh and unseen by most club members. There will also be a visit to the Pierre Deux showroom. Thanks for your blogs.
    Diane Robinson