As designers we are exposed to many beautiful things in our daily life. When I'm shopping for our projects, traveling, dining, reading, visiting and browsing - I find that all these forays are an opportunity to hone the eye and learn something new. In this day and age we are not short of exposure, if anything it's overexposure and hence it is equally important to be able to glean through the millions and zero in on the things that are truly beautiful and make the cut. Quality, material, skilled workmanship, price, age, provenance and uniqueness are all important - some relatively more than others depending on who and what you are shopping for.
Decades ago I stumbled upon a ceramic box given to me as a gift which had a signature at the bottom. I loved the box for it's shape, the sweet birds painted on it and it's fragility. At that time, I had no idea who it was by or even what that signature meant. Many years later rummaging at Paris' Marché aux Puces I stumbled upon a ceramic vase. Vaguely familiar in it's colors and finish, turning it upside down I realized it was the same signature that was on my box. Determined to find out who the signature belonged to and what these wonderful ceramics are about, I talked to a few vendors I knew and soon embarked on a search for more pieces by the "Cloutier Freres". As I discovered more ceramics by these exceptional artists and twin brothers, Robert & Jean Cloutier, my love for their work increased exponentially. While I await the first book on these exceptional ceramicists' works, collecting these whimsical, puts-a-smile-on-your-face, beautifully made pieces est juste ma tasse de thé!