Site Information

 Loading... Please wait...

Blog

Combining my passions for design and travel - Gift show Maison et Object Paris

Posted by Barbara Shaw on

Recently I went to the Gift show Maison et Object, in Paris. Paris is of course for lovers and for lovers of beauty. I did visit the main art Museums Orangarie, the  Picasso, Rodin, Pompidu and D'Orsay. And again the thrill of standing in front of wonderful delicious art just feeds my soul. 

Way back, after school I wanted to study Social Work, but alas, I didn't get in. All I was left with was the History of Art at Hebrew University. I am so grateful, I felt it was the best subject I could have studied. I was totally consumed, and of course there were no distractions then of phones and facebook. I just poured over books and consumed art till dawn. I see I have not changed.

I wondered  and wandered in Paris. I thought about the connection of the everyday beauty in the buildings and food and shops, and and its effect on design today. I considered the differences of design say in Europe and in Paris in particular with design in London as expressed at the Gift Show. I wondered about the effect of these tumultuous times on the gift industry and its direction.

I found that the Show was actually quite conservative on the whole, and not really cutting edge, Lots of beautiful, fine decorative objects. But I didn't see a lot of risk taking, maybe its time to retreat to the luxury of one's own hearth, to feel comfortable and secure surrounded by the familiar. 

A theme and trend this year is the cactus, which appeared everywhere, perhaps this is a hint of the prickly and slightly uncomfortable. One of my first designs were sabras, which everyone said look very New Mexico.

I compared the Show to the much smaller Top Drawer in London , that I attended in last September. I found that show far more cutting edge and quirky and fun. With lots of bold designers, really stretching and surprising.

To some extent Trade Shows have been a bit in decline. With less foot traffic and vendors. The internet is encroaching...

One of my main objectives of attending shows and travelling is to search out ideas and be inspired. As my aim is to make the best gifts from Israel, to product Jerusalem products that stand up on the International scene

Sling Slang

I love slang as it is a sign of life through a language. Hebrew is both an ancient language and also a relatively young language, in it's modern format - revived by Ben Yehuda in the early 19th century. Hebrew is a fast evolving language reflecting the fast pace of Israeli society. Within the society [...]

Read More »


Lights, Latkes, Chanukah!

Every year, I continue to be proud and amazed by the Chanukah experience offered here in Israel. Whether you're from America, Australia, Europe, or other western countries, we have all grown accustomed to focusing on Christmas come holiday season, and it can be a struggle to put Chanukah at the forefront of our minds. The [...]

Read More »


Rosh Ha Shana Checklist

I love the structure and meaning of the Jewish festivals. In Australia New Year was basically an excuse for drinking. Here there is a plan and process, and yes a sense of satisfaction if you get  through the structure. It does take more time and effort but there is with that a greater sense of [...]

Read More »


​Travelling in different ways at different stages in life

“To travel is to take a journey into yourself.” – Danny KayeTraditionally people start to firm up travel plans in May and June for the summer. I have long held that the preparation before and reminiscing afterwards, is at least equal to the travelling itself.I enjoy seeing people select gifts for friends and family. I’m [...]

Read More »


Why making products with Yiddish moves me so deeply

I have never been interested in making pretty products that sit on the sideboard. Each product I make has a story and comes from my Kishkes - gut. I love making products with YiddishIn our family, a typical Jewish family, lots of languages flew around the kitchen table. I spoke to my mother in Hungarian [...]

Read More »


Seder Checklist

As Pesach and the Seder approaches, I thought it could be useful to have a checklist handy to ensure that you don't forget what to place on the table. As SEDER means order, I thought a little assistance on this front might be helpful.Is there something we have left out?AT THE SEDER TABLESeder plate with: Sliced [...]

Read More »


​10 Topical tips for the Big Passover Clean Up

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? Who and what is draining your time and energy? Click here to view full clock collection Best to start with a plan and think of the salami approach - one slice at a time, thus avoiding an "all or nothing" approach.  A glass of [...]

Read More »


Spring Cleaning of Soul and Home

The concept of spring cleaning came from the Jews. It is a wonderfully renewing and revitalizing process. So as the blooms are starting to burst, and the earth literally rises once more to its prime, we mere mortals have a need to cleanse our souls and cupboards of the all the dust that has accumulated [...]

Read More »


Purim - a freedom to be ridiculous

Many far more learned than I can speak of the inner messages of the Megillah of Esther. I think of the festival and the joy it spreads for all ages. I am so pleased we have such joyful festival that gives us permission to be ridiculous and look ridiculous, to dress up and to play [...]

Read More »


Currency