Porcupine Eggs


Of all the items I have collected over the years, I have to confess that it is my galavanized pieces that give me the greatest pleasure.  I am particularly fond of the elegant French flower shop containers and have them in an array of sizes from short to very tall.  Galvanized pieces look really great when massed together as I have done here on this antique Swedish dining table in my shop.  Years of use have given all these pieces great patina and mottling – from the palest silver to dark grey. 

At this time of year it’s very effective to fill the French flower containers with bare tree branches.  Delicate birch twigs are very RC in these type of vessels but so are the briar-laden stems with pods I call Porcupine Eggs shown in my photo at the top.  I actually do not know the proper name for them.  Being from the South, they look like cockelburs on steroids to me.  But I thought they were very rustic chic in themselves and a bit unexpected for a “floral arrangement”.

I actually found a group of the Porcupine Eggs growing (dried out, is more accurate) on the side of a dirt road.  I slammed on the brakes and ran over to grab one.  A few Band-Aids later (they’re extremely prickly) and a return trip with clippers and garden gloves and they were mine for the taking.  

As they were arranged in one of the French flower containers, the Porcupine Eggs took on a very appealing, very sculptural quality.  They were ready for their close up when I placed them against the antique Duke of Devonshire sepia prints and the palette of silver to grey to brown appeared very hushed and autumnal.

It’s also interesting to mix different types of galvanized pieces together – like the egg basket shown in the shot below (which makes a great wood basket for the fireplace) with the galvanized tub (which makes a terrific magazine holder). 

A spark of orange, in this case linen upholstery on a painted bench, gives a bit of unexpected punch.  I think the bench has quite a galvanizing effect that is also rustic chic, no? 

All photos by Joel Woodard


1 Comment

Filed under Interior Design and Style, Style, Uncategorized

One response to “Porcupine Eggs

  1. susan

    Seems that your porcupine eggs are actually named Teasel. Here’s a bit about them:

    Teasel is a biennial plant native to the Old World. Thanks to its uses in textile production, teasel has been widely exported around the world, and it now grows wild in a variety of locations. It is often treated as an invasive species, because it tends to choke out other plants, although some gardeners actively cultivate teasel because they find it aesthetically pleasing or interesting.
    Dried teasel flowers have been used since Roman times to comb fabric made from wool, raising a soft, even nap in a process known as fulling. Modern textile companies use metal combs instead, since metal combs can be made more reliable and consistent, although some producers continue to use teasel pods. The advantage of teasel is that it will gently tease up the nap, breaking if it encounters strong resistance, whereas metal combs will rip the fabric before breaking, potentially damaging the textile.

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