[Flemish linen from Elizabeth Baer Textiles.]
My favorite observation of the week comes from architect Stefan Hurray in a post about the striking shadows created by one of the Met's decorative objects, a malachite urn. He comments that sometimes the impact of an object is as great, or greater than, its conventional purpose:
... and if you look past the obvious, sometimes you find something even more interesting.
An example that pops into my mind is the way a very plain, sheer white linen curtain or a humble bamboo roller shade might play with light more beautifully than an over-the-top taffeta creation. I'm also reminded of antique and vintage textile maven Elizabeth Baer's find: top quality surplus Flemish linen sleeping bag liners. She recently salvaged a bounty and sells them to decorators who reinterpret them in different ways. In this case, their original purpose was vital. Still, as the liners weren't being used, recognizing their visual appeal and recycling seems inspired.
[Image courtesy Rizzoli.]
On a related note, I've been savoring a sneak peek at the updated edition of Francoise de Bonneville's The Book of Fine Linen, scheduled to be released in the fall. I can't say much until then but it's wonderfully comprehensive, offering a very detailed history of household textiles. Recently we've been talking about lace; well, the book's up-close views of lace, crochet, and of course embroidery are exquisite. In addition to the photographs, art history fans will appreciate the use of old paintings. Sumptuous visual fare. Stay tuned for more.