Each Saturday I focus on a different artist that I admire. From potters to painters, chefs to collectors, seamstress to songwriters, lifestyle to lovers... anyone who set the paintbrush, pastry brush, hands and heart on fire to create.
Those who inspire art to flow where it may.
Vox Populi is a Latin phrase which means, "Voice of the people". Pascale Palun the owner of Vox Populi showroom/studio in Avignon listens, then gives a voice to old worn things.
Two pairs of satin shoes from the 1800s sit on a chair of equal history. The chair has been stripped of its brocade, left in its muslin cotton undershirt. The satin shoes most likely were for a bride, now they are filled with straw.
The bride who wore them stands by in spirit, no longer needs to sit instead she smiles down on Pascale for honoring her shoes on a familiar throne.
The voice of the people, the voice of history, is a sound that creatively moves us to feel something we often cannot label, allows us to be stirred emotionally without understanding why, and can conjures up a silent beauty that only our hearts understand.
One of many of Pascale's trademark items are sconces made from glass negatives. Pascale frames the negative in flat iron, then creates a see through frame in thin rod irons, the light she puts behind the negative, forming a reverse shadow box.
I have known Pascale for over ten years, her creative work is handmade, using only antique items, her eye for detail in nothing shy of perfection. Vox Populi has influenced many of artists and has been unfortunately copied by large companies.
Yet her style holds true: Hand made, using antique items with her signature eye for detail.
Thin round tube iron work is her main love. Pascale makes chandeliers, sconces, birdhouses, typewriters, cages, etc from twisting, curling, looping thin iron into lace and lattice.
Then she dangles and decorates her iron pieces with crystals, bobbins, ventouses, and other antique items.
Under crystal domes that are hand blown Pascale has created paper thin gauze skull mask, or as she says, "the skin".
Her studio is a cabinet of curiosities, one literally does not know where to look first.
One of my new favorites of Pascale's artistic endeavors are her oversize, life size portrait cushions. I bought the one with the man's portrait. Ange, or Angel was his first name, he was the son of the original owners of her showroom/studio, which is an 1800s massive, beautiful old home in the center of Avignon that has never been restored...ever. Even the toilet which is a porcelain god that I can worship to, and wanted to take home, is in flo blue with a lid like a chair top!
Pascale made a print of the Ange's portrait (that hangs in her studio), then transfered it to fabric creating a cushion.
French Husband said, "It is like I will sleep with an angel." I poked him reminding him I already have one by my side.
(Pascale's cushions were featured in "Suits" TV Show.
Pascale Palun, who hates to have her photo taken. I told her I know few who do. I also told her she was beautiful, in which like many of us, cannot take a compliment said, "I would rather you take a photo of my objects, of things I have collected."
But you know beauty cannot be contained, it is a source that has no boundaires, it runs with those who are willing to capture it, hold it, give it, share it... live it. Pascale breaths it giving it wings.
A glimpse into a small section of her studio making my hands itched with creative desire to do something, I don't know what, it was stronger than me. Have you ever felt like that? Where your senses are heighten, your hearts starts racing and you feel creative energy exploding inside? Going into Pascale's (and her husband Bruno's) studio:showroom made me feel as if I had fallen in a river of inspiration! I could not help dive deeper and emerge golden.
17 rue thiers
04 90 85 70 25
04 90 87 56 25
Lundi à Vendredi
De 10h à 17h30 sur rendez-vous.
Vox Populi the voice of the people, Pascale artistic way will cause your inner child to sing, and maybe do a cartwheel too.
...Brocante... French... Antiques...
Stories collected while living in France...
1800s Spode Demi-Tasse
Found at the Avignon International Fair over fifteen years ago.
Setting for eight.
Plates, saucers, demi tasses, teacups, creamer and sugar bowl to match.
Less than hundred dollars for the lot.
While carrying a tray with the demi-tasses back to the cupboard I tripped.
Five demi tasses danced to dust.
We hold people, places, things which in time became part of who we are. They tell stories, memories, feelings... they gather history as we love and live with them. They become intertwined with our lives: Connected like dot to dot to one person thing or another, helping us recall who we are, where we have been and what we have learned. Little things, big moments, pat on the back emotion... one drop after another while filling our souls with defining moments that remind us: This is who you are.
When the demi tasses hit the floor I remembered a moment way back in time when my boyfriend died.
I was carrying a large salad bowl that someone had brought over for the funeral, I tripped with it in hand it fell shattering to the ground. As I stooped down to pick up the broken pieces it spoke symbolically to me of my time with my boyfriend... Some pieces I could hold knowing they would always be a part of me, some pieces the ones with sharp edges I was careful to pick up the fear of being cut reminded me of his sudden death and the pain and sorrow, some pieces had no form no recognizable connection except that they were part of the bowl. I thought of those as parts of John I had yet to discover and would only hear about and hold true. And then there were the pieces shattered into shards, that became dust or maybe shining stars leading into tomorrow, pieces of a future I did not know yet knew he would not be there.
We let go, we hold on, we become who we are over time...
Some pieces are remembered, others drift away and there are shards that cannot be seen yet somehow without our knowing they light the way.
1700s French Platter.
Broken long ago, story unknown.
Repaired evident. Keepsake.
Found at the brocante.
10:35 am late in the hunt.
French Husband pulled the broken wired platter out of a pile, "Hey Corey don't you love this kind of broken?" he asked.
He is good. Real good. Who knew he would find my kind of diamond?
Latest find happy to stay at home with me.
"...Antiques with inventive repairs (also known as "make-do" repairs) are unique examples of necessity and thrift, made during a time before Krazy Glue was invented. Unlike today where we discard anything chipped or cracked, broken household items were repaired at home or taken to a metalsmith to be brought back to life, often with whimsical results. Once regarded merely as damaged goods by antiques dealers and collectors alike, antiques with inventive repairs are justly receiving the respect they deserve."
Soft spots. Tiny spring flowers.
The scent of harmony, inviting the seasons to merge.
Caressing the day lingering into the evening.
The stories of spring.
Gathered old pieces from the brocante:
Tiny pieces of tattered quilt, a chipped cameo, a torn piece of hand written music.
Pieces of history stashed in the bottom of a truck, dare not to be thrown away.
Gave my hand a try at creating something.
Soft spot a spring poem, written over a hundred years ago.
Liliacs and cherries... "pearls for the home".
Still sings true.
Fading into spring.
Faded tones give way to color.
Blush of cheek.
Roses from the garden sit above the bathtub.
What brings softness to your home?
The statue head I found at the brocante.
It is an old piece from a student artist from the Louvre.
The stamp in underneath.
Probably fifty or so years old.
Found at Porte Vanves Brocante in Paris.
At seven in the morning.
I carried it back to the apartment on the metro.
Sore arm to prove it.
When going to the French brocante there is literally something for everyone. Most people who go to the brocante know what they are looking for, or at least know what they like.
I spotted a telescope.
French Husband spotted a very loved stuffed whatever.
"Puppy love," I cheered 'cause French Husband has a thing for loved worn stuffed animals. I mean he loves them. The more worn the better. The one he found at the brocante was as he said, "... had many years of being loved."
I don't think it was a puppy, it could have been a cat but puppy love stirs memories of "first love". It could have been a tiger... who knows, as it was so worn... French Husband said it was, "Loved period."
I forgot the telescope with all the cooing over the stuffed whatever.
Some people go to the brocante and stay focused. As for me I am finding my husband catching the BROCANTE BUG badly, and because of it I am happily distracted.
Sawdust stuffed animal.
Not my expertise.
Just my husband's new addiction. It sure beats caving.