20 December 2007

maison21 is learning new things on the internets (and decides to use a big word to impress you)

maison21 likes to think of hisself as a pretty hip and knowledgeable decorator, but when he reads other blogs that are actually informative and insightful, he feels more than a little retartet. here i am blathering on and on about bedazzled zebras, while other design bloggers are actually delivering posts of substance! in the last few weeks, things that inspire posted a treatise about palladian windows; habitually chic had a great interview with tony duquette biographer wendy goodman, a bio on willy rizzo and explained the art of kiku (!) to us; studio annetta has been knocking herself out with all sorts of great designer bios- zaha hadid, tom dixon, marc newsom, jacques quinet, and on and on; and the peak of chic has blown maison21 away with informative posts on kazumi yoshida, van day truex, and and the one that really hit me over the head: the mysterious jib door. like i said, i thought i was a fairly knowledgeable guy, but i had no idea that there was even a name for the concept! did i ditch architectural history class that day? i thought a jib was something to do with sailing! seriously, and this is sad- i referred to them as "secret doors". thank god i don't think i ever called them that out loud, or anything...

if you haven't read peak's awesome post, here's how peak explained a jib door to befuddled wannabe designers such as moiself:

For those of you who may not be familiar with them, jib doors are basically disguised or concealed doors. The doors tend to be flush with the walls around them and lack any surrounding architecture, thereby creating a continuous plane. Many times the doors even have concealed hinges to further add to the disguise. Jib doors are usually given the same treatment as the rest of the walls in a room- paper, fabric, mirror, etc.

and here is one of the many photos peak used to illustrate the concept (again, muy helpful to peeps like me who's head hurts when reading lots of words and stuff):
so in honor of my erudite fellow design bloggers (and to not look like even a bigger fool in their company), maison21 is making a vow to every once in a great while attempt an educational post or two, and explain a big, important designer-y word or concept. not to worry- maison21 doesn't have the chops to pull this off more than occasionally, so you can look forward to lots more talk about pretty animal statues, and cute little shops in palm springs, but i feel i must at least try, so here we go! (god, i'm hoping this ain't too lame). today's word is bouillotte.

a bouillotte lamp (pronounced boo-yot) is a multi-armed candelabra lamp with a shade. the term bouillotte refers to a card game popular in france during the revolution, and these candle lamps were placed next to the players to illuminate their cards while the shades protected one's eyes from the glare of the candle flame. the traditional dish form on the bottom of the lamp was there both to prevent wax from dripping on the game table, and to give the players a spot to store their game chips. the dish is optional on the modern electrified versions, but a shade (or shades) and more than one candle post are standard features for the lamp. (a single candle post is usually simply referred to as a candlestick lamp). the shades are traditionally tole (painted metal) so as not to catch fire from the candle flame, but modern versions can be all sorts of materials, most commonly paper or fabric.
there are also chandelier versions:

maison21's favorite interpretations of the bouillotte lamp were designed in the 1950's by his hero, tommi parzinger, (the brass stiffel lamps are also a design attributed to parzinger):

thus concludes todays's brief design lesson. whew! tomorrow, back to animal statues and stuff...


Anonymous said...

I say, bring back the zebras!

Fascinating and erudite post, dahlink. (And great examples) However, it's pretty difficult to out-peak the Peak. So why even bother? Just be yo own fabulous ceramic figurine lovin self, girl!

Habitually Chic said...

Maison21, what you have to learn about blogging is to never compare yourself to other bloggers. We come to you for your funny stories and interesting ancedots. You have found your voice and we love it. Just be yourself!

Things That Inspire said...

I have one of those lamps! I always thought of it as the old crappy lamp that my in-laws passed down to us, but now I have newfound respect for it!

Thanks for the mention! Sometimes those posts take SO long to do, but it is like my own 'self study' to keep my brain from turning to mush.

The Peak of Chic said...

I LOVE bouillotte lamps! They've been on my wishlist forever (haven't found the right one yet!). Love your examples, esp. the lamp with the caduceus on the shade (perhaps it belonged to a very chic doctor???). And so glad you enjoyed the jib door post. Full disclosure: I only learned the proper term a year or so ago.

Pigtown-Design said...

Well, you taught me something new! Thanks.

All Things Bright and Beautiful... said...

Dear Maison - Thank you soooo much for dropping by my blog the other day :-) you are the funniest fellow in the interiors circle - you make me LAUGH and smile - bring on the zebras I say!!!

I even went for a quick surf after your zebra post to see if I could find you a virtual replacement - but Maison worthy ones are not easy to find they just weren't not "flash" or irreverant enough.

You still make me laugh even when you're educating us :-)