Designer Desire: Oswaldo Guayasamín

Mosaic of works by Oswaldo Guayasamín | H is for Home

We’ve only recently discovered the incredible work of Ecuadorian artist, Oswaldo Guayasamín (1919-1999).

Guayasamín was a prolific producer of paintings, drawings, sculpture and jewellery. His award-winning works were often very political and sometimes controversial. He highlighted subjects such as poverty, injustice, political oppression, racism and the class divide in Latin America. His paintings can be haunting, unsettling and, at the same time, exquisitely beautiful.

If you ever get the opportunity to visit Ecuador, visit the Capilla del Hombre (Chapel of Man) in the capital, Quito where many of his works can be viewed. It reminds us of Kettle’s Yard, but on a much larger scale.

Portrait of Oswaldo Guayasamíncredit

Image credits:

1st Dibs | Artnet | Christies | eBay | Invaluable

Christmas gifts of the day: Jewellery

Christmas jewellery ideas | H is for Home

You may think that buying jewellery for Christmas or any other special occasion is an easy option, but it isn’t always. What’s their ring size? Do they prefer gold or silver? Are their ears pierced? Do they have a nickel allergy? Do they even wear jewellery?

Some of these questions can be answered through simple observation. If possible, rifle through the intended recipient’s jewellery box and slide some of their rings on to your own fingers to gauge the size of their fingers. Don’t get caught though – you may be wrongly accused of attempted theft!

When’s their birthday? Give an item of jewellery that incorporates their birthstone. Get something personalised such as the fingerprint charm featured here (#5). It’s double-sided, so you can have the prints of two people impressed together for posterity.

  1. Amethyst & moonstone necklace: Pia
  2. Citrine earrings wrapped in 14k gold fill: Etsy
  3. Stainless steel cufflinks with brown leather inlay: John Greed
  4. LucyQ triple drip bangle (Size 7.75) in rhodium-plated sterling silver: TJC
  5. Fingerprint oval dangle charm: Hand on Heart

Price Points: Topaz jewellery

Topaz jewellery | H is for Home

It’s my birthday in (less than) a couple of weeks. Justin often buys me a ring or necklace – and hopefully this year he’ll get me some topaz jewellery.

I used to think that I had the most boring birthstone – a drab brown thing. I wished I was born in a different month – like February that has beautiful purple amethyst as its birthstone. It was only years later that I realised that topaz is also available as a blue, pink, green or clear stone… and I’ve actually grown to quite like the brown variety.

I’d be quite happy with unwrapping any of the above on the 24th… or even all three! 🙂

  1. Pink coated topaz stud earrings in platinum overlay sterling silver: £19.99, TJC
  2. Michael Kors rose gold tone topaz bracelet: £89.00, Goldsmiths
  3. Blue topaz gold ring – square stone: £341.63, Etsy

My Jolie Candle

Win a My Jolie Candle | H is for Home

A few weeks ago, we received a lovely parcel from My Jolie Candle. It was beautifully packaged and on opening the box, the aroma hit straight away – magical! The waft of caramel macaron made it almost good enough to eat.

Package received from My Jolie Candle | H is for Home

All the My Jolie candles are made from a mixture of natural vegetable and soy oils and waxes – no smoky, smelly paraffin here! The nine different scents are developed in Grasse, France; considered to be the perfume capital of the world. Here’s a 1-minute clip of the My Jolie candle story.

We’ve lit the candle a fair few times already and after more than 5 hours, the scent is still as strong as ever…

My Jolie Candle lit on a stool next to a leather armchair | H is for Home

I’ve chosen a ring candle but there are still a fair few hours burning time left before I find out what it is or how much it’s worth.

Lit My Jolie Candle with vintage industrial letters | H is for Home

To enter, simply tell us which one of the 9 scents available is your favourite. It’s that easy!

My Jolie candle

Shared on: Superluckyme | The Prizefinder | Loquax | U Me and the Kids

A candle with a difference

'A candle with a difference' blog post banner

Imperial Candles 100% natural soy wax candle in Calm Lavender

Have you noticed a change in me? Have you seen how calm & serene I’ve become recently? No? Well, just take my word for it. It’s all down to my new night-time regime.

Imperial Candles package arrived

Six weeks ago, a package arrived from Imperial Candles containing one of their 100% soy wax candles in Calm Lavender.

Imperial Candles 100% natural soy wax candle in Calm Lavender

That evening, my bath-time routine took a turn for the better. Bath run, bubble bath poured, lights off, radio on, candle lit and (the occasional) glass of red wine.

Imperial Candles 100% natural soy wax candle in Calm Lavender with a bubble bath

I haven’t looked back, this has my daily wind-down routine ever since! The fragrance is amazing, I close my eyes and breathe deeply, the day’s stresses melting away. But wait, there’s more, the candle contains a little extra. Each candle is made with a beautiful ring (or earrings or necklace) wrapped up in foil and suspended within it.

Ring suspended within my Imperial Candles Calm Lavender candle

It may be worth £10, it may be worth £2,000 – you won’t know until you’ve burned your candle to about a third of the way down and extracted the little package with tweezers. It took me 6 weeks of baths to get to this stage! As the saying goes, ‘good things come to those who wait’. Isn’t it beautiful?

Wearing the ring from my Imperial Candles Calm Lavender candle

Imperial Candles have very kindly agreed to offer two items from their range to H is for Home readers. A melon cucumber ring candle and a piña colada bath bomb.

Imperial Candles Melon Cucumber ring candle and Piña Colada bath bomb offered as prizes in our giveaway

For your chance to win one of these goodies, tell us what fragrance ring candle you would invent. Best of luck!

Imperial Candles giveaway

Bookmarks: Grete Prytz Kittelsen – The art of enamel design

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Grete Prytz Kittelsen - The art of enamel design book with a selection of Lotus enamelware

Grete Prytz Kittelsen – The Art of Enamel Design by Karianne Bjellå Gilje explores the work of one of our favourite product designers.

Grete Prytz Kittelsen - The art of enamel design book title page

It was written not only with Greta’s close cooperation, but with extensive contributions from her – in the form of interviews, added text, selection of images and so on. You really are getting to know the artist intimately.

portrait of Grete Prytz Kittelsen standing

Greta was one of the foremost Scandinavian designers of the Mid-century Modern era – in addition to which she also collaborated with many of the other great names from the period.

Grete Prytz Kittelsen-designed jewellery

She had “a thorough knowledge of materials, vast technical skill, independence and originality.”

red Grete Prytz Kittelsen-designed necklace

Her work has directly touched the daily lives of countless thousands with her ranges of beautiful yet practical kitchen & tableware.

green Grete Prytz Kittelsen-designed enamel tea set

She’s rightly praised for making good design accessible as she simplified the production process wherever possible, thus keeping retail prices affordable.

sculptural Grete Prytz Kittelsen-designed necklace

She’s immediately associated with the iconic Lotus cookware produced by Cathrineholm of Norway in the 1950s – ironically, the repeating leaf pattern of the Lotus range was the work of another designer – Arne Clausen.

selection of Cathrineholm Lotus enamelware

She was responsible for the form & colours of the range – and apparently preferred the enamel without the additional decoration.

Cathrineholm Lotus catalogue

Her range of products is vast – pots, pans, plates, cruets, bowls and cutlery.

Grete Prytz Kittelsen-designed salad bowl and servers

There are decorative objects too, such as candelabra & vases…

Grete Prytz Kittelsen-designed square plates

…and not forgetting the beautiful jewellery – we just love her jewellery!!

blue sculptural Grete Prytz Kittelsen-designed necklace

The book is very well written – comprehensive, entertaining and informative.

sculptural Grete Prytz Kittelsen-designed Cathrineholm bowls

It’s full of wonderful archive images, product advertisements & brochures.

Grete Prytz Kittelsen working in her studio

Also, fabulous photographs of her work – which is some feat as the beauty of enamel is very difficult to capture in print.

colourful Grete Prytz Kittelsen-designed bangles

The book concludes with a wonderful reference section including a fully illustrated catalogue of works and chronology.

Grete Prytz Kittelsen jewellery catalogue

It’s a must have book for anyone who shares our passion – or is not yet familiar with her work.

sculptural Grete Prytz Kittelsen-designed boomerang necklace

[Many thanks to W.W. Norton & Company for the review copy]