Soothing

 

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200x300cm or how you like it

Available at

John Derian
6, east, 2nd street 
NY10003 NEW YORK
United States
+1 212 677 3917
shop@johnderian.com

Mixed mobile

mixed-mobile

 

A mixed version of our mobile

New improved rapid fixings.

Leaving for Italy this week

Tinto Filo
via San Martino e Solferino, 38
35122  PADOVA Italy
+39 333 3047044
tintofilo@outlook.it
 
 
 

Comfort

S04MTBN3-scene S04MTBN3Mutuba cushion covers.

Available soon at

Abc New York
888, Broadway
NY 10003 NEW YORK
Usa
+1 212 473 3000
www.abc.com

 

From tree to planter

 

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At first a tree.

Then Vincent strips the bark from a Mutuba tree in the countryside nearby Masaka, off Lake Victoria in Uganda and pounds it with his father using a wooden mallet, under a banana leaf shack.

The children watch them as they work on the bark for hours, chatting and singing sometimes to the rhythm of the pounding.

That is how they will learn to work on the bark, the same way it has been done for centuries.

Po! Paris found a way to make it look like leather, lined with washable fabric and made planters in their workshop in Uganda.

20x20x22 cm

30x30x28 cm

50x50x28 cm

Available soon

Menno Kroon BV

Cornelis Schiystraat 11
1071 JC AMSTERDAM
The Netherlands
tel +31 20 679 19 50
winkel@mennokroon.nl

 

Magnificence

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Steel barrel armchairs. The Egg seen by an albanian smith using a barrel found in his backyard.

That was in the first days. Now one of our best welders in Tirana makes them.

Painted in white for the coming season.

Coltorti 
C.so Umberto I, 1
62012 CIVITANOVA MARCHE
Italy
+39 0733 813953
coltortisnc@virgilio.it
 
Kaufhaus Popp
Neustrasse 22
54290 TRIER
+49 651 99 479 115
info@kaufhaus-popp.de

Worthy of a National Museum


“Meet one my editors” she said with one of her special smiles as I stood in the hall feeling somehow under scrutiny while a bunch of unpaired eyeballs followed the interaction from the gray wall.

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 Le Piscine, National Gallery of Modern Art of the city of Roubaix opened its doors to a retrospective exhibition of Nathalie Leté’s works on the 21rst of March 2015.

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An international crowd of dedicated followers merged in with the locals, finding comfort in the colorful opening ceremony after a journey across a black and white city severely lacking contrast.

The visitor can be easily overwhelmed by the south Flanders landscape: plenty of empty and available space with abundant sky, invariably gray; the vague reminiscence of sea shoreline accents the wind gently deposited between the buildings are a reminder that the only available escape route is far away. Red brick storehouses and factories stand empty in what once was the Kingdom of wool of the “belle-Epoque” feeding generations of weavers and soap makers believing the good times would never come to an end end, till “la grande guerre” brought them back to reality.

Stepping off the train in such a setting, the traveler suddenly feels the urge to share his deepest feelings with the bar tender while Jacques Brel fanatically underscores his state of mind in the little radio on the shelf below the liberty style mirror – but  there is no such place in sight where he can unload his burden.

By contrast, Nathalie, wearing a pink fake fur coat, welcomes each single visitor to her world of colour, fantasy and some crude details of central European fairy tales. The museum, a beautifully restored Belle Epoque swimming pool with its glazed turquoise tiles and white marble statues, now a National Gallery, is perfectly in tune with the event.

Compositions of traditional french “charcuterie” hang lugubriously from meat-packer hooks like savagely murdered dolls; a chicken prepared for the Sunday roast, decorated with Hungarian style folk patterns sits enigmatically in a glass cabinet, icon of a sacrificial beast ; pictures of bourgeois families from postcards of times long gone, recoloured for the occasion, depict children dressed as butchers showing off the daily production of fresh meat from the family butchery;

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The tripes of the slain bad wolf lying beside a kitchen sink bring a positive note to the room. “A friend told me the wolf represents the father figure” whispered Nathalie over my shoulder, before welcoming yet another editor and a group of friends from Paris.

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A short corridor, the interior of a gingerbread house, is decorated with elegant limited edition plates by Astier De Villatte and Po! Paris‘s cushions, amongst other products designed for various editors she is particularly fond of.

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Further down, in a larger room, tapestries hang from the wall , depicting a world that would make Lewis Carroll feel like a rationalist geek and revise large sections of his works, along with his choice of tea. Toy cars, a 1950ies version of mickey mouse puppet, all sorts of insects and toy guns, embroidered and woven on an intricate woven carpet -from a distance and a in certain light- easily mistaken for a newly restored renaissance gobelin from the crown’s royal workshops of the Paris left bank.

I proudly took a generous amount of pictures and sent them to our weavers in Albania, knowing this could be a turning point in their towns history.

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The fruit of their passion for embroidery and weaving , centuries of precious craftsmanship, so close to extinction, coupled with a natural penchant for colours, now hang from the wall of a national museum in France, and, what’s more, in Europe’s cradle of the best weaving industry.

Their city can be proud of this group of women from what has been considered a “sensitive” neighborhood.

“Nineteen” Leta once told me when I asked how many people work in the cooperative workshop she operates. A social business in the middle of the “city of walls” where our driver once refused to come along with me to the house because no men from the family were around. I still recall him saying “tu non capisci niente” (you don’t understand a thing) referring to the traditional Albanian codes of conduct he believed were applied to the letter in the area, locking himself in his BMW and leaving me to walk alone to the garden where a single loom stood on the terrace.

That garden is now a two story workshop hosting six looms and a spinning machine to make yarn from the best chosen wool from mountain sheep. A workshop open to the local families providing training and work for skilled weavers, producing items worthy of a National Gallery.

Walking through a corridor leading to the butchery I let myself sink in the underwater world of tropical seabeds of ceramic corals and shells, and more of that extraordinary weaving.

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Yes they are going to be proud, and so are we, to be simply somehow part of the story.

“Thank you for coming” she said at the breakfast table at the hotel were the admirers and friends had spent the night after the long celebration that followed the opening.

Thank you, Nathalie, for making it possible with such talent.

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Mutuba

Mutuba line

Bark cloth is the result of a perfect harmony between mankind and nature. Harvesting and preparing bark cloth is a tradition of the Baganda tribe, an exceptional art passed on through generations for more than 600 years.

Nowadays, only a few families still possess the knowledge that allows a simple bark to become one the masterpieces of the intangible heritage of humanity, as Unesco has recently defined it. Vincent is one of these « artists ». Member of the Ngonge clan, he learnt this know-how from his father who learnt in turn by his from his own ancestors.

The tree, a middle sized plant of the Ficus family, must be at least six years old before it can deliver its first usable bark, an ordinary grayish coloured bark to the inexperienced eye. For the craftsman it is ripe to become a cloth as large as 18 square feet (6m2), just as thin and strong as woven linen. Once retrieved of its bark the tree is at rest for six months before the next harvest.

The bark is folded and processed while it is still fresh, steamed and beaten with a wooden mallet by two or three men working side by side under a shed in the garden.

In 2013 an NGO in Uganda (East Africa) asked Po! Paris to create a development project involving a group of women on the outskirts of the capital Kampala. Mark Eden Schooley and John Felici created a new line of bags with using bark cloth instead of leather. The bark cloth is treated and painted in white or black in Kampala by the women, lined and sewn in their small workshop providing income to the community helping finance medication, schooling fees.

This is the first step Po! Paris treads out of Albania, from eastern Europe straight to eastern Africa. A long step, far away, bringing people and stories together.

(Photos by Mark Eden Schooley)

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High up in the mountains

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Hand made felt lamps, from 65 to 75 euros, E27 socket, black wiring 120 cm and connectors included

Available at
Po! Paris,
14, rue Labois Rouillon
75019 PARIS
tel 01 4205 8008
paris@po-paris.com
 
Caravane Emporium
22 rue Saint Nicolas
75012 PARIS
tel 01 78 77 11 32