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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