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Sunday, 20 May 2012

Bric a Brac

This is today's catch from a junk market. I haven't been gathering for ages, but I was looking for things for a school visit this week when we'll make a large hanging sculpture and need some structural objects. No luck there so I shall raid my own collection, but I found some useful things. Very often it's only stainless steel cutlery in charity shops these days so I do buy older cutlery when I find it in the smaller sizes - for my Jelly Bowl Lanterns. I love the warm colour of the plating and the makers marks. Normally they say Sheffield and I always feel sad about the lost age of our great industries. However some of these said Turtle, Croydon.......

.......so I googled and found that Louis Henry Turtle had come from Sheffield and set up business in Croydon. The family business seemed to evolve into a hardware suppliers and last over 100 years, the shop closed in 2008 and clearly locals were devastated to lose it. I also found that his son died in the 1st World War in 1917, plenty of sad history in these forks, but as with all family histories. I wonder how old the forks are? anytime from around 1900 possibly. When I use them in a chandelier I shall think fondly of the long service they gave and all who were connected to their existence.

And for £1 I had to bring this tiny stove home, it's cast alloy and with the lid bit down is only 6cm high, I can squeeze it into the cabinet of curiosities.


  1. Lovely finds - adore that coloured glass!!

    I love finding out about history - and as you say, it is always full of sad stories. But that's life, we know that ourselves first hand. How beautiful that you can let part of that history live on though, through your amazing creations.

    A xx

  2. What you need to do Madeleine is volunteer in a charity shop! I work 2 mornings a week for a chazza near me and do the window displays which is the biggest fun. You never know what raw materials you'll have to work with in order to create something visually gorgeous (partly feeds my life-long affair with still life). Anyway, a big benefit is that you get to examine all the donations and buy stuff you like (usually I like what no one else seems to) - so that would be a great source of material for you and at the same time you'd be using your amazing design skills to help a charity! And you meet some great and crazy people too.
    Kathy p.s. I will look out for nice old cutlery for you - it usually gets chucked, does it matter if it's a bit tarnished?

    1. That sounds dangerous! but yes when I was a kid my mum worked in an oxfam shop and I used to go with her in school holidays. I'm not seeking out tons of cutlery but I notice the nice old stuff is disappearing and I use multiples of smaller nice pieces. I dont understand why charity shops dont do boxes of bargain junk anymore but I find things in other shops and markets these days.


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