A Year in Brocante


A Year in Brocante 11: An Easter Egg


    Recently I have been interested in the Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler and as so often happens – it’s called ‘happenstance’ – yesterday at a Marché aux Puces I happened upon a print of his “Genfersee von Chexbres” (Lake Geneva from Chexbres.)  Known as...

A Year in Brocante 10: Upscaling and Hacking


                                    “Upscaling” is the next step up from recycling.  It means taking something old or broken or molecularly challenged or unfashionable and re-inventing it as something new. ‘Upscalers’ would...

A Year in Brocante 9: Fornasetti Coasters


  When our children were small we parents swapped around clothes and toys and paraphernalia.  I cannot remember how many of the group’s babies were wheeled out in a red pram (but no doubt Martin can! [Naoise, Catriona, Lucy, Maddy…….?]) but the most popular of...

A Year in Brocante 8: The Dancer


    Sometimes, it takes a long time for an idea to gestate into something concrete.   It is so long ago – maybe two years, maybe even three – since I found 3 lost table legs, and two hinged bases in a flea market, that...

A Year in Brocante 7: My Kitchen Garden


  Yesterday morning at nine o’clock I met Himself in the hall, somnambulant to breakfast in white piqué honeycomb cotton.  “You’ve heard of golf widows….well, I’m a brocante widower” he grumbled. “Bye” ses I, and I out the door to Duingt, the next village down...

A Year in Brocante 6: Water Jug


I’m posting this water jug as much for itself as to welcome the May. (“Bring flowers of the rarest, and blossoms the fairest from garden and woodland and hillside and glade”…) It cost €3 in Annecy, is hand made and is not old, I would...

A Year In Brocante 5: Chapeau Méchanique


Tonight in Cork the 58th International Choral Festival begins with a Gala Opening Concert of Mozart’s Requiem by the Goethe-Institut Choir of Dublin and soloists. The Choral Festival began in 1954 as part of a three week Spring cultural event called “An Tóstal”  with a...

A Year in Brocante 4: Gzhel Porcelain


Under the old Soviet regime not many ordinary folk got the better of the system in the USSR. If one was a high-up member of The Party of course, things were different. However, as a bourgeoise citizen of a democratic island republic I got to...

A Year in Brocante 3: Blocks and Moulds


  This collage of printing blocks and moulds began with some pieces I picked up in the Markets in Belfast in 1978-80ish. They would have been relics of the linen trade in the city, where my sister (the Elder) was living at the time. I...

A Year in Brocante 2: Goat Peter


  We have a second guest room under the eaves with a sloping ceiling in which is placed the room’s only window. If this window were bigger, or lower, or even on a wall, it would have the best view in the house, but it’s...