A Potter around Portobello

Over the weekend I visited Portobello Road Market in London for the first time. It wasn’t a planned visit, but simply seemed like a good place to pop to with a friend whilst we were in London.

To be honest I wasn’t really sure what to expect, having really only read brief articles on it before, but thought it sounded like my sort of place, so really went without any expectations.

We came via Tube to Notting Hill Gate and then wandered through the bustling little streets lined with quirky shops selling everything from mass-produced souvenirs to vintage clothing & jewellery- a far cry from the bland high-street feel of Oxford Street.

Once we crossed into the market itself I was in my element and immediately felt like a child in a sweet shop, wandering from stall to stall lapping up the sheer quantity of wonderful ‘shiny-things’ that were on offer!

The market runs along the street, but also into little indoor arcades and centres too, offering a huge range of pieces to tempt me.

Now to be honest the last thing on my mind had been buying new bits to work with, but I’m such a ‘Magpie’ and inevitably I dragged my friend from stall to stall and within minutes she was looking for bits that she knew would appeal to me!

As you know I am always on the look out for something different & so found I couldn’t walk away from these stunning demi-tasse spoons with bright guilloché enamel detail on the handles.

I have bought similar spoons before, with the diamond shaped handles as I love their contemporary feel, but have never seen them with the enamel detail so couldn’t walk away. I do love a bit of colour and these particular ones are so bright and fresh that it’s hard to really believe that the spoons are almost 70 years old (assayed in Birmingham in 1948/49)

Needless to say I was also drawn in by a few other pieces including some silver salt spoons with particularly pretty handles and also a rather nice vintage horseshoe charm, which I’ll use to make a mould for silver clay, before adding the original to a piece.

Happily my friend also caught the bug and ended up with a couple of beautiful necklaces – this one in particular was a real find – almost 100 years old in a stunning yellow ‘satin-glass’ – and to think the day before she had been tempted to buy a mass-produced one in a similar colour from a high-street store for only a couple of pounds less!

To be honest we ended up only scratching the surface of the market and I am already planning a return trip later in the year to have a better fuddle around to see what else I can find.

In the meantime though I need to get back to the workshop and do some work!

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