Three weeks ago the sun came out, a warm air blew in and we were all temporarily tricked into believing the long-awaited Spring was finally here. Uncovering the table and chairs with joy, I sat peacefully with my first morning coffee outdoors in months. The warm sun and early morning chill called to my children as well, and with hearty agreement we decided to attempt breakfast together on the terrace. Sweaters over pajamas and wool socks on our feet, we revelled in the sense of accomplishment as we crossed one thing off our exhaustive winter wishlist.
A few days later, the cold returned. The covers went back on the furniture and I was left dreaming of our next alfresco meal. To while the time away and keep our impatience at bay, my mother and I decided to put together our own dream outdoor dining tablescape. Soft linens, candlelight, a vase full of wildflowers – we would go all out with this one … secretly dreaming that we were on the same continent to enjoy a fresh outdoor dinner together.
Locorum is one big exciting experiment for us, with discovery at its core. We began by featuring one product at a time. Concentrating on knitters and potters and glass-blowers … This time, we decided to offer all of these artists a seat at our table. And we’re really excited to show you the result!
Lithuania has a centuries-old tradition of growing and processing flax, and Homey Linen was born out of a passion for the beauty and craftsmanship of the delicate linen fabric. Says founder Zydrune, “Our goal is to reintroduce this timelessly elegant fabric to modern homes. It’s sustainable, breathable and versatile. It’s simplicity at its finest.” Zydrune tells stories with her handcrafted linen pieces, and when we saw her gorgeous tablecloth trimmed in macrame, we knew it was the perfect foundation for our alfresco dining edit.
Out of the ruins of a 13th-century monastery in Segovia, Spain, there rose Abbatte, a textile workshop and showroom, complete with extensive botanical gardens for dyeing the yarns. The textiles here are woven on manual looms, hand-washed and finished, resulting in one-of-a-kind heirloom pieces to cherish for a lifetime. A highly curated collection may also be purchased at the shop in Madrid. The linen hand towels would make gorgeous oversized napkins for your outdoor fiesta.
“For the Sake of Keeping” is the lovely mantra of Copenhagen ceramicist Robynn Storgaard. “It’s a call to simple, well made objects that can last generations, and that bring joy to the simple tasks in life,” she says. “Objects we know as keepsakes.” When we saw the quiet beauty of her work, and read about her commitment to sustainability and conscious consumption, we immediately knew our alfresco tabletop needed to be set with a mix-and-match collection of her stunning stoneware.
After studying anthropology, a chance meeting with a potter in 2012 inspired Lea Brodiez to point her life in a different direction. She trained technically and artistically first at Cnifop in Nièvre, then at La Maison de la Céramique in Dieulefit. In search of a connection with the outside world, Léa alternates an adventuring lifestyle with a more sedentary one in her studio in the French countryside. Her work combines traditional rustic ceramics with various contemporary influences. We were tempted to design our entire tablescape around her one-of-a-kind pitcher and vase.
Anna Von Lipa
Since 1996, Anna von Lipa has collaborated with the oldest and most prominent glass blowers in Europe, designing and manufacturing luxurious free-blown glass art in the Czech Republic. Her whimsical designs and bright pops of color can cheer up any spring table. Try mixing and matching from green champagne glasses to yellow and pink water glasses. We don’t think you’ll be able to resist her bubble covered pitchers.
If you follow Copenhagen potter Tina Marie on Instagram, you’ll be treated to a peek inside her everyday life as an artist, as well as her process and little snippets of her shop and studio. She’s following in the footprints of her Danish ancestors’ long tradition of handmade studio ceramics. Her intention is to create interesting pieces with “marks from the hands that made them, glaze ’flaws’, lucky mistakes and unforeseen coincidences.” Though not uniform or cookie-cutter, her shapes are timeless with glazes, colors and textures, chosen for their lasting aesthetics. We think her smallest vases in various shapes and colors, at individual place settings, would be a perfect alternative to a large centerpiece.
Vincent Verde creates modern, free and inventive ceramics, objects that he treats like sculptures. As a child of the south of France, of the heat and of the sea, there is in each of his works the unique light of the Marseille sky. He also draws on popular Mediterranean imagery and traditional shapes found in flea markets. We imagine one of his long dishes for serving your favorite grilled vegetables. Asparagus would look lovely here!
WAX Atelier, in London, re-visits traditional techniques ranging from candle dipping and paper making, to crafted textiles using natural wax. “Making becomes a tool to experience the interconnection between the natural world and material culture,” say designers and founders Lola Lely and Yesenia Thibault-Picazo. The two offer workshops and master classes in all things wax, from candles and waxed linen food wraps to waxed cloth bags (adorable) and the cutest wax paper origami boats. As the sun sets on your outdoor table, heighten the ambiance with a bevy of flickering candles. You can never have too many.
You gotta love a maker whose Instagram bio reads: “A tailor and a woodworker making thingymajigs.” Ten and Kari started Wankelwerk out of their shared studio in Amsterdam in 2020, though their preferred mediums differed greatly. The design collaboration draws inspiration from nature, and the products exhibit both exquisite craftsmanship and a refreshing sense of whimsy and fun. “Lumps” for your tapers anyone? How many of these squatty candle holders can we fit on the table?
Back in 1930, Cecilio Valgañóyn transformed the production of cloths onto his handlooms for the manufacture of scarves, shawls and blankets. Fast forward to 1950 when he incorporated mohair into his creations, marking his company’s path to the present day. Now, almost a century later, Cecilio’s grandchildren have joined Mantas Ezcaray with the aim of continuing the work of their parents and the dream of their grandfather. “The passing of time has meant that today we are the only manufacturers left in Ezcaray, making blankets from mohair,” states their website.
They continue to keep up the traditional skills in washing, dying and finishing the wool. This mohair blanket, is the perfect wrap for cool spring nights.