The 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 there are so many lovely things but we didn't want to keep all the lovely things - just some of them.

By Joy Jolliffe, May 2 2018 03:08PM

Let's start with the book, 'Pottery & Glass'. It's really about the contents of the book of course but it's the cover that tempted me to pick it up in the first place.

A 1947 design with a blue/grey colour that can only be described as perfect.

Inside we discover a selection of modern ceramics and glass, 'good, bad or indifferent'! The author is not always complimentary which is quite a refreshing take on things.

Form, balance, texture etc are all discussed. There's always something new to learn and it's a Penguin Book so very good provenance!

Just in front of the book stands one of the most useful pieces of pottery ever designed - the teapot. This one is made by Johnson Bros and has many of the 'good' design features mentioned in the book: Practical, uncluttered, balanced, good for purpose and very nice to look at. Another lovely blue too.

The blue theme continues with our two Cobham spot pots. They can be a little brittle and we often find them with chips but this little twosome is damage free. They're cheerful aren't they. Their shape is round and generous and the spots are lighthearted. Lots of people love them and I know they'll be popular when they arrive on the OK shelves.

Most pots, mugs, glasses etc can hold a few flowers and I tend to see all these receptacles as 'vases'. I did a little bit of research on this next piece tho' and it might originally have had a wooden lid. It has beautful 'lace' or 'marble' decoration and the interior is deepest midnight blue. I still think of it as a vase tho'. A slim dramatic vase. It's made by Poole and not one we've previously seen. Still learning!

In spite of our odd and difficult weather, summer is on the way and a big glass jug full of a refreshing beverage is as welcome as the sunshine. This is a lovely jug made from clear, sparkling heavy glass. The handle is especially tactile, so smooth and clear it could still be liquid. The three little fruit prints are typical Britvic designs but there are no trademarks on the jug. An orange with orange blossom, a lemon and a bunch of cherries would make a delicious fruit cup but I'll leave you to make up your own favourite summer recipe.

By Joy Jolliffe, Apr 2 2018 03:22PM

Birds' eggs. Ethereal colours. Delicate vulnerable shells. Tiny shapes nestled down in the carefully constructed nest. Pure magic. The open book is called, 'A Pocket Book of British Birds' Eggs and Nests'. There are numerous colour plates all beautifully illustrated and there are B/W photos too, of birds and nests. Even sweeter is the neatly written note inside the cover remembering the good work at school that earned the owner this book. It's priceless.

More painterly magic is on display. The used artist's palette is a little work of art in itself. There's lots of colour, mixes and trials and a nicely formed thumb hole. It's perfectly shaped to be held comfortably in your hand and could be used again. Be inspired!

The two small brass bowls are a lovely find. They have fine line decoration depicting elephants in their wild landscape. The bowls are well preserved and have a warm dull shine.

I love enamels. We have a small selection available again and I've chosen these three for the mantelpiece. The large plate is a mouth-watering creamy custard yellow with a sky blue rim. It's summery and practical and looks fab on the table used indoors or out.

The shallow dish in the middle has wonderful spray and stencil decoration. The soft pinks and greens sit companionably in the background and a bright pink and orange rose takes centre stage. It's a pretty piece to use and looks great on display too.

The little bowl on the end has less age, I think. The colours are vibrant this time and look great mixed in with other designs. All three pieces really should be used, they're so cheerful.

The final piece is a bit of a show-stopper. I love it and have kept it for a while just to look at. Can't keep all the things tho' so now it's available to buy on the OK shelves. The glass is heavy and clear and is shaped like a funnel or flask. Lines of painted colour form rings; blue, yellow and grey and it's so simple and elegant that like me you'll just enjoy looking at it.

By Joy Jolliffe, Jan 31 2018 12:22PM

The little spray of daffodils, on the far right of the mantelpiece, is printed onto the lid of an old toffee tin. It can seem like a long wait until the first bulbs start flowering so I thought this could fill the gap. The tin's been treasured by someone and comes to us in such good condition, bringing with it the promise of Spring.

It's good to have a splash of yellow about the place at this time of year. It's a warm and cheerful colour that lifts your spirits. The little yellow mug does just that. The enamel is thick and it's worn well and you don't need to wait until the Summer to use it. The little brown enamel mug next door is a neat companion and suggests hot chocolate and Winter outdoor fires. Another cheerful thing.

The beautiful oval platter is by Denby and it's a gem. Warm colours again, subtle and textured with a mid-century feel. The pale border has a simple printed line pattern, perfect and understated.

The other ceramic piece that I've picked out this month is a comport. You can see it next to the bookshelf. I was drawn to it - it's the mellow, creamy white base colour that did it. It has a sweet printed floral border pattern that's perfectly preserved too. The single leg or stand has a nice shape which adds to the feeling of age and quality. Well, it is a Meakin piece. They didn't get much wrong.

I'm a bit smitten with wooden animals at the mo. I've recently managed to unearth a family of elephants, a roaring lion and other wooden lovelies but they're all sold now. Here's another to take their place. Elegant Giraffe. The colour is unusual, it's almost ebony which helps with the drama of the silhouette. It's very well made with stalky legs and an animated head. You can't see the mane in this picture. It's extremely giraffey, short and tufty, created with the simplest of cut marks by a practiced hand.

The crisp folding rule is such a good colour, I had to include it in the shot. It's also in very good condition, measures inches and centimetres and is both practical and beautiful.

I've found another little bookshelf. They're such attractive items to me. This one is painted our quiet mushroom colour and has a nice upright design. Observer books look brilliant anywhere of course but this little shelf can hold larger books too.


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