Our mantelpiece is an ever changing composition. Change one thing and everything changes. When the picture is taken that moment is held.

Life is stilled. A still life.


This is a shop window for the ok corral.


We created the ok corral because we find so many lovely things but we didn't want to keep all the lovely things - just some of them.

By Joy Jolliffe, May 10 2019 01:38PM

I've chosen larger pieces for the mantelpiece this month. They make a very decorative group and as they're big, they're easier to shoot too. Lots of pattern, lots of texture, lots of colour.

The round metal tray has the pattern. A bold yellow and maroon paisley design, printed onto deep blue. A gorgeous rich combination and a new pattern for us. Our customers like to collect these trays. They look wonderful displayed on the wall, especially grouped with others. Sadly, this one has quite a bit of surface damage and areas of pattern loss. Genuine vintage wear and tear can be attractive in itself tho' and this tray will adorn someone's house beautifully.

The bookends are a great find. They're in very good condition and are made from golden honey coloured wood. The design idea is brilliant. The bookends have been created to look like actual books with pages, spine, title etc all defined by the use of different coloured woods. They're very skillfully made too and are surely the quintessential 'book' ends.

More wood next and this time it's bleached through use and age and equally beautiful for that very fact. A pair of large butter pats that have seen long years of work. Domestic pieces like this often hold the greatest interest for me. Who used them, when and where? It raises a whole lot of questions concerning domestic history and makes me think for awhile about the people who used these everyday things.

Parking Privé. Well that would be handy fixed to the fence and screenprinted text is just about my favourite thing. The creamy background colour has mellowed with age and the navy blue is a beautiful contrast. It's printed onto tough rigid plastic and taken out of context, it's a brilliant display piece.

On the far right of the mantelpiece we have a wooden box with a lifted lid. I think my picture is a little unclear. I couldn't angle the box more deeply tho' or it would have fallen off. This simple box is really very nice with branding on the side that tells us it used to contain 4lbs of cocoa nut chips. A grocer's box for the shop shelves and I would love to have a glimpse back at those shelves in that shop. The two printed labels are on the front of the box and inside the lid. They're very decorative with fabulous typefaces and rich colours.

I make no excuse for featuring pressed glass candlesticks again. I'm always on the lookout for them and it's a little triumph when I find an undamaged pair. There they are, glowing warmly even when the candles aren't lit. Golden amber glass.

By Joy Jolliffe, Apr 8 2019 11:05AM

I thought I'd share a mantelpiece display with a difference this month. It's not full of items to sell but instead there are lovely things here that I hope you will simply enjoy. We have to take every moment of pleasure from Spring blossom and bulbs as their season passes so swiftly.

The local hedges are beautiful at the moment. The Blackthorn blossom drifts across them all like a flurry of snow. My Mum called it 'Blackthorn Winter' warning that there may be blossom but the weather's still cold! The creamy white jug that holds the branches of blossom belonged to my Grandmother and possibly my Great Grandmother. I have a precious faded black and white photo of her in her garden holding a big white jug just like this one. You can understand why this piece is a keeper.

Old ceramic jelly moulds make the most beautiful planters. The two on display here are both damaged but are perfect for bulbs. You can use them over and over again for small daffs and grape hyacinths. It's a match made in heaven.

Next month we'll have fresh items here to tempt you again and there's still lots to see on the OK website. Meanwhile, take a moment to enjoy our April Still Life Interior.

Photography by www.hollyjolliffe.co.uk

By Joy Jolliffe, Feb 4 2019 03:59PM

Studio pottery and hand stitched embroidery. Art or craft? Can it be both or can art and craft overlap? When does craft work become art and vice versa?

I haven't got answers to these questions but I do think that the items on the mantelpiece this month are beautiful. They're beautiful to look at and they are beautifully made. The makers have worked to perfect their skills; technique and creativity are both evident.

These pieces aren't mass produced but are individual, hand made, one off pieces. Does that make a difference?

So many things pass through the OK Corral doors and the handmade pieces do have a special quality. It's not about how 'good' they are or how accurate. They're rarely perfect but they have something else instead. The memory of the maker's hands I guess.

Three beautiful bowls and two beautiful embroideries all coming to the OK shelves soon.


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