Nora Sibley Denker

TABLESCAPE CURATE

Nora Sibley Denker
TABLESCAPE CURATE

^ Juan Sánchez Cotán, Quince, Cabbage, and Cucumber, 1602

I'm feeling contrast and drama ~ a tablescape in the dark! Spanish Baroque painter, Juan Sánchez Cotán, created still lifes, or bodegones in the 1660s, in a strikingly austere style that feels fresh and modern today. Less is more and black is back.

The fantastic sculptural  arrangements by Meta Flora NYC would add a bright welcome to an entrance hall or a jovial sense to the buffet table. A piece of art, themselves, your guests will love it!

Jean-Paul Gourdon who made the fine tin-glazed ceramic cauliflower, shown here, "was inspired by his own vegetable garden in the south west of France." Simplifying the color to white brings a hushed whisper to look closely and admire what nature created. For those of us that love majolica, this is an elegant quieter alternative.

My mother gives candlesticks to everyone in our family. The search for a perfect candle is always on. These lovely primitive-looking twisted candles are called “duplero” (from the latin “duplex,” or double). The color of beeswax candles really offsets a a graphic tablescape. Supposedly, these from Il Buco Vita "offer purifying effects when burned." 

Josiah Wedgwood produced a copy of the celebrated Portland Vase in black-and-white jasper-ware. "The original, attributed to the Roman gem-cutter Dioskourides, is in the style of works made between 30 and 20 B.C. After its discovery in the late sixteenth century in the tomb of the Emperor Septimius Severus, it became one of the most admired works of antiquity." - themetmuseum.org

A collection of mismatched glassware filled with a beautiful drink is casual and very festive. I want to try Food52's Bowery Punch this season.

Makoto Kagoshima, based in Japan, creates the most satisfying one-of-a-kind ceramics which illustrate whimsical motifs: flowers, birds, insects and other fantastical creatures

And finally, a dramatic tablescape wouldn't be complete, in my imagination, without a touch of Fornasetti. Shown here is the apple plate from wonderfully whimsical set of plates from the 60's of split vegetables and fruits. Straight to my heart!

 

BOWERY PUNCH by Food 52

sugar cubes (12), club soda (8oz), Tanqueray gin (6oz), Cappelletti (2oz), grapefruit juice (2oz), lemon juice (2oz), Peychaud’s bitters (4 dashes), grapefruit slices for garnish ~ Muddle sugar with half of the club soda until cubes are starting to dissolve. Add all ingredients (except for the remaining 4 oz of club soda), fill pitcher 3/4 full with solid ice cubes. Stir 15 - 20 seconds until cold, strain into individual glasses over fresh ice. Top with club soda, garnish with grapefruit, and ladle into punch glasses.