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ISLAND INTERIORS: When life gives you cabbages

How a 19th Century Socialist artist became our new home ware hero

Elevating meal times from the mundane to the mesmerising with stunning table scapes has given us all a taste for quirky vintage pieces that not only look beautiful but that we develop an emotional connection too.

I love the idea that the lovingly sourced crystal candlestick or porcelain bowl on my table has a story that may span continents and time. Whilst we might not be travelling anywhere for a while, the fact that a vintage piece may have is truly magical.


What to do when life gives you cabbages.

Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro was born in 1846 into a family of artists. The Portuguese caricaturist, illustrator and sculptor, became renowned for his socialist satire and commentary on society via his art forms. He created a cartoon called Ze Povinho, which literally translates as Little People and the main protagonist was a working class albeit slightly work shy peasant who ridiculed those in power whilst still retaining his sense of being humble and honest. The more I read about his exploits the more I’m pleasantly surprised that those in authority (the government) failed in trying to muffle Pinheiros prolific voice. In 1885, Pinheiro set up his ceramic production at the Fábrica de Faianças in Caldas, revealing a technical wizardry in shape form and ideas. Amongst them was the humble cabbage.

The cabbage was thought of as peasant food and not worthy of having a presence on the tables of the upper classes. By creating such incredible pieces, Pinheiro bought a sense of The Emperors clothes to so called high society who would have bought the pieces. His fascination with nature, the environment and science served as inspiration and today these pieces are not only highly desired but also still respected for their satirical quality as well as beauty.

I feel there is no better resurrection than one that so poetically and literally serves up such an incredible message for our time. The beauty is that the production is still active and their ethos has not changed much. Now they promote new and innovative artists and a majority of their pieces benefit from being hand filled into moulds and then hand painted.

If you are as obsessed with the production, as I am then click here to see a short video.


Consuming consciously

Whilst consuming consciously as opposed to impulsive or addictive shopping is a feeling that last longer, let’s all be compassionate towards ourselves during this time and dissolve the guilt. Instead look round and online for pre-loved items or if the local markets are still open, take time out to rummage around for some gems.

We adore the markets here in Ibiza where I have personally uncovered gems that spark more than joy. San Jordi on a Saturday morning as well as Troc are amongst some of our favourites.

You can also head over to Etsy and Ebay for original pieces.

We found these inspired pieces in Oliver in Ibiza town:

We love these table settings at some of our villas:

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