Designer Desire: Ann Wynn-Reeves

Collage of Ann Wynn-Reeves ceramic works | H is for Home

Ann Wynn-Reeves, in our opinion, is one of the most gifted, distinctive British ceramic designers of the 20th century.

Not much is known about her as an individual, we couldn’t even find a photograph of her on the internet. She’s the wife of the late Kenneth Clark who is much more well-known than Wynn-Reeves. They spent a lifetime working together – she created the designs and he translated them into ceramic form, especially tiles.

Some of her tile designs are currently being reproduced by Robert Opie. It has even been made in miniature form for dolls’ houses (see the image right, 3rd from the top)!

Image credits:

Mallams | Pinterest | Etsy | eBay | Flickr | Planet Utopia

Price Points: Sheila maids

Three different Sheila maids / clothes dryers | H is for Home

With this recent lovely summer weather, there’s been lots of washing being done – it hangs outside in the warm breeze and dries in minutes. Winter is a different matter in the Pennines. Hang something outside in January and it will remain wet for days – or even freeze solid!

It’s at times like this that we turn to our Sheila maid (also known as a kitchen maid, creel or pulley). It hangs from the ceiling out of the way above the fire in our kitchen, so doesn’t stop heat reaching you at floor level, but benefits from all the rising hot air.

Sheila maids can accommodate a full load of washing so there’s often no need for an energy-sapping tumble dryer. We’ve always liked the look of them too – there’s something very homely about them.

You might find a vintage example in an antiques centre or at auction – alternatively, you can buy new. Here are three of our favourites. There’s something we like about the traditional style versions but the modern metal example above is useful in that it can expand or contract depending on the size of your room or amount of laundry to hang.

  1. Modern extendible ceiling airer: £49.99, Lakeland
  2. The Original SHEILA MAID ® airer 57″ 6-rail, extra wide – black: £72, Amazon
  3. 8-Lath wooden hanging clothes drying rack or pot rack: £72, Etsy

Redcurrant ice cream

Home-made redcurrant ice cream | H is for Home

This week, Justin spent a few hours on our allotment picking kilos of redcurrants. When he got home, they immediately got decanted into plastic tubs and put into the freezer until I decided what I was going to do with them. In past years, our redcurrant haul has been turned into tarts, jelly, cordial and relish.

Redcurrant juice concentrate being added to caster sugar | H is for Home

Seeing as the UK is in the midst of a mini-heatwave, there was only one thing for it – redcurrant ice cream.

Whipped cream and redcurrant juice | H is for Home

Redcurrants make the most bright, beautiful pink swirly ripple ice cream with a sweet, tangy taste.

Home-made redcurrant ice cream before putting it into the freezer | H is for Home

And best of all, you don’t need an ice cream maker and it’s only 3 ingredients! If you don’t have access to redcurrants, most other berries can be used in their place – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, blackcurrants… or a mixture of all of the above. The recipe below makes about 1 litre.

Redcurrant ice cream
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Ingredients
  1. 500g/17½oz redcurrants
  2. 100g/3½oz caster sugar
  3. 300ml/10½fl oz whipping cream
  4.  
  5. Home-made redcurrant ice cream ingredients
  6.  
Instructions
  1. Pre-chill a clean, dry plastic container in the freezer
  2. Put the redcurrants in a colander/strainer, rinse under water and pat dry
  3. In a medium-sized saucepan on a medium heat, cook the redcurrants until they have burst (about 5-10 minutes)
  4. Strain the redcurrants through a fine sieve and combine with sugar to taste. Refrigerate
  5. Whisk the whipping cream until it forms stiff peaks
  6. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cooled redcurrant concentrate trying not to loose too much of the air
  7. Pour into the pre-chilled container, cover and freeze until firm
Adapted from Allrecipies
Adapted from Allrecipies
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Vintage drink mats

Vintage drink mats collection | H is for Home

We bought a bagful of vintage drink mats yesterday.

Vintage Cherry B Drink mats | H is for Home

They date from the 1960s era and we like the various designs.

Vintage Cherry B drink mat | H is for Home Vintage Babycham drink mat | H is for Home

There are card coasters advertising Cherry B, Babycham, Dewar’s whisky and Martell cognac.

Vintage Dewar's drink mat | H is for Home Vintage Dewar's drink mat | H is for Home

There are enough to make sets of 6 for both Dewars patterns, sets of 6 for the simple cherry design, a set of 4 for the pretty Cherry B party girls – and a couple each of the Babycham and Martell.

vintage MArtell drink mat | H is for Home

Drop us a line if you’re interested – or check them out on our website in the next day or two.

Get their look: Dramatic bedroom

Dramatic bedroom with deep purple painted walls with orange & purple geometric painted featurecredit

We’ve chosen a dramatic bedroom space for this week’s Get their look post.

The bold colour scheme and geometric lines immediately grab your attention. They’re attained through both painted wall pattern and furniture form – with an off centre ceiling light adding a further twist.

The hard-edged patterns are softened by flowers, oriental floor rug and very comfortable looking bed with its cushions and woollen throw.

It’s a very interesting and clever design when you take it all in.

  1. Rope lampshade
  2. Blur palette from Dulux Colour forecast 2013
  3. Kartell Componibili circular storage unit, 2-tier, white
  4. Link Easy Chair armchair, by Tom Dixon
  5. Cream waffle throw
  6. Tribeca coffee table
  7. PERSISK MIX oriental rug, low pile, handmade

Get their look: Dramatic bedroom | H is for Home

Designer Desire: Lefor Openo

Lefor Openo artwork mosaic | H is for Home

Welcome to our new blog series, ‘Designer Desire’, where we’ll feature one designer per week whose work we love. We’re kicking off with Lefor Openo who we’ve mentioned once or twice before.

Lefor Openo comprised of two French women, Marie-Claire Lefort and Marie-Francine Oppeneau. They met while studying at Lycée Claude-Bernard Paris, and collaborated from 1955 to 1967. They were primarily poster artists; their designs were used extensively by Loterie Nationale (the national lottery of France). They designed posters for Charles de Gaulle – for the 1958 constitutional referendum and again for his 1965 presidential election campaign. They also produced advertising artwork for other organisations and brands such as Electricité de France, Kodak, Singer Sewing Machines. They designed a poster for the 1959 film Babette s’en va-t-en guerre, (Babette goes to War) starring Brigitte Bardot. Apparently, she is the one upon whom they based most of their ‘models’.

As well as posters, very occasionally you’ll come across postcards and tea towels bearing their designs on Etsy and eBay. We’ve also seen evidence of a doll and a couple of pin dishes from the era and we have a tin in our shop which we believe to be one of their designs – we’ve never seen another!

Marie-Claire Lefort died in 1971 and Marie-Francine Oppeneau is now 81 years old. Once upon a time, there was a basic website with information and images of some of their designs but it seems to have been allowed to expire. If you know (or want to find out) anything more about them and their designs, please leave a comment below.

Marie-Claire Lefort & Marie-Francine Oppeneau of Lefor Openo