Sunday, 3 August 2014


   There is a lot of fine wirework in France, mostly produced in the early 20th century  for many different uses as well as decoration.  The fine wire could be shaped into all kinds of shapes, some very elaborate and purely for amusement and decoration,  but most were made as useful tools in the kitchen and home.    I often bought good examples as they made lovely decoration against simple whitewashed cottage and farm walls and many were  hung round old inglenooks and fireplaces and cast interesting shadows.  There were circular drainers for cheeses and for cooling pastries and cakes, all kinds of strainers and sieves and skimmers for sauces and soups, spatulas and slices for frying and grilling, hundreds of salad shakers, and egg baskets, hooks and racks for tools, carpet beaters, egg whisks, bird cages and so on, as well as the miniature coaches, furniture and other fanciful designs.  I bought several of the best from a dealer in Burgundy and I learnt a bit more about the craft and wished I could restore some of the many that had been neglected outside and had rusted away..
  This is a good reference book, (pub. Abbeville) I found that describes hundreds of fine wirework objects, all very decorative and delightful;   the variety is amazing and often quite exotic - bird cages, ornamental baskets and stands and a huge batterie of cooking tools and containers.   I was able to purchase several of the examples shown in these illustrations  (the owner  helped the authors of this book to find good examples).  There are plenty still in use and for sale, mostly on the tool and sundries stalls of market traders, but miniatures and really intricate examples are always difficult to find.

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