New Year – New Pieces

The weeks leading up to Christmas were all rather frantic with lots of Fairs at some great locations, finishing with the Christmas Fair at Lydford Gorge and the Edwardian Evening in Okehampton, which were really lovely events to end on.

A wonderfully festive setting at Lydford Gorge


We then headed off to France & have spent a couple of weeks enjoying everything that Christmas in France has to offer and at the same time grabbing any possible chance to potter around our favourite Brocante markets in search of new pieces to work with.

Quirky French Brocante style


I’d expected the Fairs to be much smaller than in the Summer and this was inevitably the case, but they were still filled with a great selection of stalls and we managed to pass a few happy hours browsing & hunting out pieces to work with & some inspiration for something different.

The Market at Carpentras the week before Christmas was packed with a delightful selection of stalls and although I could have spent a fortune on wonderful old shutters and other quirky pieces for the house I did manage to keep on track, looking for old silver, finding a couple of pretty spoons…..












Before catching sight of a wonderful old French Cockerel charm, which just had to come back to the workshop……..

The Gallic Coq!


The Cockerel is such a great symbol of France, having originated back in Roman times when the Latin word ‘Gallus’ meant ‘people of Gaul’ as well as ‘Cockerel’ and it was used as a derisory term for the French people. It backfired on the Romans as the Gauls of France adopted the plucky little Cockerel as their emblem as they were brave in battle and it was seen as a symbol of courage and it effectively stuck.

I do love these old charms and it may find its way into a bangle or possibly a necklace, but I’ve yet to decide.

Vintage charms in a necklace with old French ‘Mother of Pearl’ beads


The Christmas Eve market in the beautiful L’Isle Sur La Sorgue was much smaller than usual….

The beautiful setting for L’Isle Sur La Sorgue Sunday market


…….but I did come away with an old cycling medallion and a short length of pretty antique lace and have ideas of using it to texture silver, so watch this space to see if the idea pays off!

Just before heading back we popped over to the lovely market at Villneuve-Les Avignon, which is always a delight & has the best coffee stall for a perfect breakfast. Even though it had poured down overnight there was still a good selection of stalls, including several with little bits to interest me.

The slightly rain-hit Brocante under the Chateau at Villeneuve-Les-Avignon


Happily I came away with some lovely pieces, including this beautiful Provencal ‘Clavier’, the local equivalent of the ‘Chatelaine’……

A Provencal Clavier with beautiful engraved detail


A stunning & unusually shaped French silver caddy spoon with an elegant twisted handle….

The Caddy spoon & another pretty find


Two pretty salt spoons, with their matching salts (not sure what I’ll do with those yet)

Two silver spoons their matching salts with a pretty buckle


And a couple of beautiful old silver buckles, very different in style, but wonderfully different…….

This is such a pretty design, simple and elegant


So it’s back to the workshop now & time to create some new pieces & I’ll keep you posted with how the pieces work out.

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