I had been wanting a tassel for the key of this painted chest for quite a while but just couldn’t find anything that was not trite. But over the weekend, while in a small junk store, I came across this ogee-shaped, galvanized tag on a jute string. I was instantly charmed by its unexpectedness and rather formal shape while being executed in such a humble material. The $1.50 price also helped seal the deal.
Photos by Joel Woodard
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