Sunday, 28 February 2010

First Anniversary Giveaway, we have a Maggie B

Today's the day we announce the winner of the QCI First Anniversary Giveaway. One lucky visitor has won this beautiful heart shaped pendant necklace which Brittany Byways kindly donated from the Henriot Bijoux range.
We received 38 comments on our 150th post and thanks to Random.Org our winner is:
Comment #34 from Mary @ thelittleredhouse: "Oh, how beautiful! What a wonderful restoration! Thanks for sharing at MM. :)"
Congratulations Mary, please get in touch by emailing with your full name and address and the necklace will soon be winging it's way to you.

We are joining in with one of my favourite meme's Sunday Favourites today @ Chari's Happy to Design with a rerun of a post from Trisha, our first guest blogger.

Paris in the Spring.......................

Well, I've just spent the last hour writing a post that vanished in thin air. So much for the autosave feature. A warning to other guest bloggers: if you are previewing your post, do NOT hit the back button as this erases your draft.
so where was I...
I arrived in Paris on March 21st with my mother, sister, and 13 month old nephew in tow. None of them had ever been to Paris before and I was finally able to convince my mother to get on a plane that crossed over the ocean.
My sister's college roommate is from Montpelier in the south and now lives in Paris with her family. TaTa Trisha (french familiar form of aunt) was a bit naive regarding the complexities of traveling with an infant but all in all we had a great time.

Though the calendar indicated it was spring, no one told the weather as it has been cold and blustery. Paris is still waiting for March to go out like a lamb.

My mother enjoyed tea at Laduree and the lovely breakfst pastries and little Ethan enjoyed the playground at the Luxembourg gardens all bundled up against the cold. I enjoyed having my family finally get to see the city I love so much.

As for faience, Paris really is not the best place to shop but lets be honest, we come to Paris for the food and the fashion.

The Puces des Paris are located at opposite ends of the city and occur every weekend. The Puces St. Ouen are actually just outside Paris proper in the north and are made up of a number of permanent markets.

Most of the faience is found at the Marche Paul Bert/Serpette and the Marche Vernaison. There is a great little cafe in the outside poriton of Paul Bert that serves a wonderful hot chocolate with a generous bowl of whipped cream a la Angelina's without the price and the wait. It is a great consolation if you don't find any Quimper and a little celebration if you do.

Most of what you will find though is Malicorne and Desvres, some HR and the occasional piece of HB and Porquier Beau. Much of the Quimper is of recent vintage and just not that attractive or attractively priced.
At the opposite end of the city is the weekend puce set up on the sidewalks outside of the Porte de Vanves metro station. Here again you will find mostly Desvres and Malicorne with lots of other really fun things for your house.
This weekend, I found a set of 8 cute animal knife rests from Geo Martel and Fourmaintroux Corquin, some unmarked Malicorne plates, and a large panier form Fourmaintroux Freres. I also saw a painting with a large Quimper pitcher on the breakfast table and other Breton things.

From there, it was off to the Square de Batignolles in the 17th arr. for a week-long fair that is held annually. These are the types of fairs I like the most in Paris as the quality of the dealers is usually quite good and they have the best fair food I've ever encountered. One of the best is the twice yearly Brocante and Foire de Jambon held at Chatou just outside of Paris. This is one Ben loves to go too as he gets to gnaw on some gigantic piece of pork while I shop.

Le Chineur magazine has a small cover article this month on Quimper and is a good source for the brocante calendar.


are other good sources for brocantes and such all over France.

If you love Paris, macaroons, and pastries in general, Carol Gillot's blog "Paris Breakfasts" is a lot of fun. She is a watercolor artist who paints out her obsession with Paris and pastries.
A bientot


Friday, 26 February 2010

My Dream Doll Carolyn H

I have been asked to write a new blog on an article that was featured in the Autumn/Winter Quimper Club Journal on miniature Quimper.
Some of you will remember it but for those of you who missed it, I hope you find it informative and entertaining.
This all started two Decembers ago, when my dear husband bought me a doll house for our anniversary. He had spotted it in a Hospice Thrift Shop in High Springs, FL and surprised me with it!
My dream of someday, owning a doll house had finally come true! Granted, it took a while----some sixty odd years----But dreams DO come true!! And there it was; my childhood rediscovered.
This was no ordinary doll house. It was a marvellous creation consisting of seven rooms in Victorian style.
The scale of the house is 1:12, or 1 inch is equal to 1 foot.
It had just enough furniture and accessories to perk my artistic imagination and personal taste. Over the last year and a half many changes have taken place. To date no room has gone untouched.
I've painted miniature scenes that now hang in the living room and library, made and painted furniture, etc. All the fun stuff!
My greatest joy has come from redecorating the kitchen. I gave the house "indoor plumbing" by adding a pitcher pump that I made from Fimo clay to the existing dry sink. I filled glass canning jars with clay fruit and vegetables that now sit on a newly made shelf overhanging a new prep table.
A drying rack that I made with the wood from a tongue depressor and cotton bud sticks now hangs over the fireplace from which handmade herbs, onion and garlic braids are also hung. My latest creation was to add a real flickering "fire" to the fireplace.
The existing cupboard looked dismal with it's out of scale accessories.
Something had to be done! Why not Quimper? That had to be the right direction to go with since my "other house" was already filled with my overflowing collection of Quimper.
I decided on the happy color of "Soleil" decor. I located some white mini dishes and a soup tureen at a miniatures shop in Orlando. The fish platter, I made, using a two part epoxy putty that I also use for ceramics' restoration. I spray painted them yellow with lacquer acrylics; then, using a 20/0 brush, I painted on the design with water-based acrylics. A clear coat followed to protect and simulate the shine of fired glaze.
With a few other additions, my cupboard is now complete.
My doll house is a work in progress! Many pieces have been added and moved around since it was first received and It brings me a great deal of pleasure to watch it's metamorphosis! I can highly recommend it as therapy-----At any age!
I will be glad to answer any questions you might have on trying your hand at painting your own Quimper "mini" dishes, or on any other subject that you might be interested in.
Leave a comment by clicking below, or I may be reached through this blog by emailing

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Decorated Carolyn H.

For the 65th edition of 3 or More Tuesday, @ Tam's The Gypsy's Corner today, some photo's of more of my decorated eggs. Tam is sharing beautiful photographs of spring flowers, do head over there and take a look, they are sure to brighten your day.

A nativity scene.
I wrote a little about how I taught myself to decorate eggs on my White Ostrich egg blog, click here.

A country scene.

A hinged creation with blue velvet lining and flowers.

Don't forget that the winner of the QCI's First Anniversary Giveaway, a beautiful heart shaped pendant necklace from Henriot Bijoux, will be drawn this coming Sunday, if you haven't yet entered click here and leave a comment to participate.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

A little peek at my Carolyn H

After blogging about a carved Ostrich egg, a blue rooster, what I did in the holidays and restoring ceramics I guess it's time to share some photo's of my collection?
Above: a large colourful platter decorated in the broderie style and featuring a Breton sitting on a rock.

1930's Quimper including a C. Maillard jug and two Breton gentlemen, by Andre Galland, one atop a barrel the other a jug.

Quimper and antique pewter items complement each other.

A beautiful Swan with cygnet egg cups, all six!

A Quillivic Celtic style cross and a pair of holy water fonts,(bénitier).

A pair of egg cup holding swans flank a large swan basket and are surrounded by smaller swan items on the hutch.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Q & A Friday

In the previous post Carolyn told us about her blue rooster and how she restored it to glory.
Here's a little postscript and a question for Q & A Friday.

If this rooster looks familiar to some of you, he is pictured on page 32 of Joan Datesman's book, "Collecting Quimper". In it, she describes it as a CA rooster pitcher. The color pattern is different from mine but it is of the same mold. My rooster is marked AK. I would greatly appreciate any and all information as to his origin and history.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

A Blue Rooster Carolyn H

We are celebrating our First Anniversary here at QCI and Carolyn's Blue Rooster restoration tale is our 150th post.
To mark the occasion we are giving away a beautiful heart shaped necklace, from Henriot Bijoux, to one lucky visitor. Click here to find out more about this lovely piece.
Just leave a comment on this 150th Blue Rooster post, between now and the end of February, and your name will go into the draw.
The winners name will be selected at random on the last day of this month.

We're spreading the joy through blogland by linking to 3 of our favourite meme's today.
Mosaic Monday @ Mary's the little red house, Smiling Sally's Blue Monday gathering and Metamorphosis Monday over at Susan's Between Naps On The Porch.
Be sure to go and visit these very gracious hostesses who do such a wonderful job of inspiring us to blog, but not before you have left a comment here to partcipate in our giveaway.
Blogmistress, Maggie
Here's Carolyn's Blue Rooster tale..........................

A number of years ago a dealer in antiques came into my studio with an earthenware rooster that he had purchased at auction. He had determined that the bird had value, even though it was apparent that it had sustained a considerable amount of damage in the past and had been poorly restored.
The gentleman had purchased it for resale and wanted it properly restored. After thorough examination, I gave him an estimate of price and an explanation of what would be done to bring the rooster back to its original appearance. He grimaced, then went on to explain that he had paid more than he had anticipated after being caught up in a bidding war over the bird. He concluded that, with the additional restoration charge, it would be highly unlikely that he could make a reasonable profit on resale.
His next question was "Would you be interested in it?" I told him that I couldn't afford to buy it outright, but I would consider a trade for other restoration work. We came to an amicable agreement.
The poor, dishevelled bird sat on my "to do" shelf for the next two years. I was too busy restoring for others to work on a piece that now belonged to me!

When we moved to North Florida four years ago, the rooster came with us in a cardboard box. Over the next several months, as I slowly worked to put my studio back together and re-establish myself, I found that I could take the time to work on my rooster. It was to reveal several surprises!

My first job was to thoroughly clean the bird of all foreign matter (dirt, paint and old glue). Much of the original face was missing and had been replaced with plaster of Paris by the original restorer. There were multiple chips and missing parts along the back and tail. Both legs were broken and had been fitted with unnecessary metal armatures, adding to the damage, these were removed.

All original useable pieces were then bonded back. I then hand sculpted and added back all of the missing parts using a two part epoxy putty, tinting it to match the color of the earthenware body. The rooster was coming to life!

The final step was to paint back all of the newly restored areas to match the original design and glaze finish. My restoration was complete.

This final restoration took approximately sixteen hours to complete but he was well worth it! He now has a place of prominence atop our dining room hutch and fits quite nicely with my collection of Quimper and Country primitives.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Q & A Friday - Mystery form ?

I've seen this form as a bell but this piece opens around the middle, has a hole in the bottom of the back and a shallow indentation in the inside.......
I'm not sure what it is - does anyone else know ?

Our First Anniversary and 150th post Giveaway will be on Monday 15th February when we will be joining Smiling Sally for her Blue Monday meme.

Click here to read about the beautiful heart necklace from Henriot Bijoux that one lucky visitor will receive simply by commenting on Monday's post. The Giveaway will stay open until the end of February.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

How I learned the art of Fine Ceramics Carolyn H

In my first post I mentioned that I have had many hobbies, in the field of art, that I learned from reading books. One of these was the fascinating and challenging art of learning to decorate real eggs. I became quite good at it and found great pleasure in challenging myself to produce more and more fine detail---- particularly in learning to carve the egg shell using a high speed dental drill powered by an air compressor.
Although I enjoyed the art of the decorated egg, it never became profitable. Yes, I would occasionally sell one but most were given away to friends and to the Animal Rescue League to be auctioned off as part of their fund raising events. A number I kept because of my daughter's insistence, "Mom, please don't give any more of them away!"
In a strange twist of fate, an egg brought me directly to one of my greatest challenges and achievements-- That of the art of Fine Ceramics Restoration.
I accidentally broke the top out of an Ostrich egg that had taken me months to complete. Devastated and distraught, I spent the remainder of the day on the phone looking for someone who could possibly repair it! Finally, a company, calling itself "Restorers of America" in Lake Worth, sounded optimistic.
The following day, I was introduced to the owner of the studio who was also a Master restorer of fine ceramics as well as furniture. After examining my egg and admiring the workmanship, she suggested that, rather than having it repaired, I sign up for a beginner’s class she was holding and repair it myself.

I found the class fascinating! I successfully restored my egg and a couple of other pieces of Quimper that I had. She was so impressed with my work that, at the end of the class, she asked me to work with her.
I worked under her tutorship for about two years and have been restoring ever since. God truly does work in mysterious ways!
We're linking this beautifully carved white Ostrich egg to White Wednesday #34 @ Faded Charm, which today is looking very much like an old fashioned English haberdashers with linens, lace, cotton & other charming bits & bobs.

Do go over and see all the other wonderful whites gathered there but please leave a comment here first so we know who came calling.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

How a Quimper Inkwell brought out the sniper in Carolyn H

The rest of the story.................... for Mosaic Monday at Mary's little red house, where you will find fascinating mosaics and spring has sprung!!
Mary has a beautiful spring flower mosaic to brighten your day and get the week off to a great start, do go over and take a look.

Living in South Central Florida is definitely not the hub of Quimper collecting. I was lucky to find one or two pieces a year! I had gone to the library to learn as much as I could about Quimper and was astonished as to the variety.

I now knew what I wanted to collect. I would stick to the more unusual pieces. But where to look? France was out of the question!
When we got our first computer in the 90's and I was introduced to e-Bay, I went completely insane!

There, before my very eyes, were over 400 pieces at auction---Daily! What a find!
The first piece I fell in love with and absolutely had to have, was an inkwell shaped as a hat. Mother's Day was coming up and Bill told me that I could buy it.

It was a six day auction, I put my first bid on it and, to my surprise, no one else bid! I watched it daily.

Still no bids! I was glued to the screen, at the end of the auction, to make arrangements to pay for my new found treasure, when out of the blue, at the very last minute, someone out bid me!! I was horrified! How could this happen?? How could anyone be that cruel?

I had wanted it so badly. Now it was gone!
That was my first encounter with the fine art of "sniping".

It taught me a bitter lesson and I learned it well!

Over the next couple of months I became quite the little sniper--- with my timer in countdown mode and my hands on the keys---ready to pounce on my unsuspected pray!

Not pretty but all's fair in love and war---and this was WAR!!
My collection of Quimper is, for the most part, now complete. And, yes, I was able to find another identical hat with better results this time.
That's it in the bottom right corner of the large mosaic above.

If I buy another piece, something has to go and I am happy with my collection as it is. To me, Quimper is much too beautiful to be packed away in boxes. It should be touched, used and enjoyed. And besides, it makes me happy!

I have made many lasting friendships over my years of collecting and restoring Quimper. I believe everything happens for a reason. If it were not for my long association with Quimper these friendships would not have been possible. I have had the joy of meeting some of you and hope that trend continues.

Maybe we'll meet at the QCI Savannah meeting in October this year?
(All other photo's from quimperpix archive, all rights reserved)

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Q & A Friday - Sun Plates

What lovely Sun plates these are, but can anyone help with identifying the manufacturer ?

Cerelle writes :
Here is a plate I have had for some time..and cannot be sure who made it. My guess is Nevers..but don't know.It does not seem recent the way the paints have raised..almost a bubble on the dots down the leaf or feather. Anyway.. I love it and the happy sun, but it would be nice to know where it came from.

How I discovered COMP Carol H

In December of 1959, Bill and I were married. We were settling into our first home when one day mom asked, "Honey, would you like to have those old dishes?" Astonished that she would be willing to part with them, I said, "Yes! We would love to have them!" We brought them home a week later.

The dishes fit beautifully with our growing collection of Country American furniture and accessories. I displayed what I could in a newly purchased Pine cupboard. Our house was coming together!

We also used our new "old" dishes on a daily basis, breaking an occasional piece, as our family grew. After all-- They were "just" dishes---Meant to be used!
It was sometime in the late 60's when a girlfriend of mine invited me to go with her to an Antiques Show being held at the Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami. It was about a two hour's drive from West Palm Beach to Miami but, since we both shared a passion for antiques, it would be worth the trip.

When we arrived, we were astonished as to its size! The building was long with two wide aisles and four booth areas stretching almost as far as the eye could see.
As we walked along, I spotted a rather large Maple cupboard filled with something very familiar to me---MY DISHES!! I was astonished! I had never seen them anywhere else before!

The dealer, a tall, distinguished, gentleman in a suit and tie, caught my amazed stare and walked over to me. I blurted out, "You have my "Quimper"! (Kwimper)I have these at home!" His look became somewhat distasteful as he corrected my pronunciation. while slowly looking me up and down, " COMP PAIR, my dear!!"

He then promptly walked away to looking to find a more astute customer!
Feeling left considerably smaller than I did on arrival but still unable to take my eyes off his "compair" I mustered enough courage to slink over and take a closer look. I slowly picked up a plate and turned it over. The price tag read $35! A cup was $25! A saucer $12!

I found myself muttering, "Oh, my God! My vase is a VAZZ!!

I could hardly contain myself on our long ride home to tell my husband, "Honey, We're sitting on a fortune!!"

When I returned home with my wonderful news, we took stock of what we had left. It was almost a full service for twelve. I kept out what I had on display which amounted to a service for four and we carefully packed the remainder. Mom was informed of what we had found and gave her blessing to sell them,

The Quimper dishes were sold several months later at auction, hopefully to someone who would enjoy them as much as we had, and we invested our new found wealth!
The photo's today are from the quimperpix archive (all rights reserved) and show how the sujet ordinaire decor was adapted and used to decorate a variety of different Quimper items.