Saturday, July 12, 2014

Salon Design Reflects Service

Customers get a sense of a business by observing the shop. The salon where I get my hair cut illustrates this phenomenon. For nearly a decade I have driven 45 minutes to have a very talented hair designer cut my hair.  His family's salon in York, Pennsylvania illustrates what they market--beauty.
The outside graphics catches your eye before you enter the front door.
The metal artist who created this sculpture shows his work at the Long's Park Arts & Craft Festival.
The interior design also reinforces the shop's youthful image. Maintaining a current face is important in the industry, because clients are buying a fresh, up-to-date look.

It is also important for a place of business to have an up-beat vibe. After all, who wants to frequent a business that is depressing? At Shortino's, the earth-toned color palate--which began with the colorful print on the upholstered seating--is anything but drab.

Even in winter, the happy-orange feature-wall lifts the gloom.

One especially creative element in the shop's design is the free-form painting on the soft blinds. The artist pulled the colors from the chair fabric and let them spill across the accordion window coverings. The results is pure genius.
Leaving the waiting area and front desk, clients are taken to their stylist's chair. The owner's son, Frank Michael Shortino, cuts my hair. He is the third-generation of hair designers in the family. I not only appreciate his amazing ability to get my straight, baby-fine hair to cooperate, but I appreciate his love for literature and travel. We never run out of interesting topics of conversation.
I found Frank-Michael through my daughter who was living in New York City. At one point, Anna had a disastrous result when she had her hair lightened. I never saw it, but apparently, it was so bad she skipped work to have it repaired at another salon. Frank Michael, who still teaches cut and color internationally, worked his magic so no one ever knew of the oops.

Anna's misfortune became my fortune. Sitting in Frank Michael's chair in the trendy lower east side salon, she found out that he also worked part-time in York, Pennsylvania. On her rave review, I tried the salon, and now for nearly a dozen years, I have been the beneficiary of Frank Michael's talent. I have watched him grow from an artistic young stylist to a confident professional who now is married and lives full-time in Central Pennsylvania where he is being groomed to take over the family business.

Shortino's Salon will continue to thrive, because they keep their services and their environment current.
This memorable mural takes the customer's mind off the crick in their neck.
Believe me, a visit to this well-designed salon will leave a lasting and favorable impression.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tureens: for Soup to Flowers

While visiting Winterthur to see the Downton Abbey exhibit, I took a detour to the Dorrance Gallery to see the Campbell Soup Company's collection of tureens. John T. Dorrance, Jr., company chairman, and W.B. Murphy, president of Campbell's, began to collect tureens in 1966. Over the years, they chose tureens based on craftsmanship, form, and history. By the early 1990's they decided to relocate their treasures to Winterthur.

 Below are photos I took of the amazing display.

Many of the tureens on display at Winterthur are silver. Some are very baroque; others are more contemporary. 

The tureen below was the first one acquired by Dorrance. It displays the coat of arms of George Washington's maternal family. 

In addition to embellishing the bowl of the tureen, silversmiths created elaborate lids. The pair below are topped with flora...

others with fauna. (Click on the picture below to see a larger view of this elaborate finial, a bear surrounded by hounds.)

Handles and feet were also part of the design. Dolphins support this silver tureen which was made in Russia in 1766. 

Although the tureen had humble beginnings as a bowl for serving a one-dish meal, during the reign of Louis XIV in France it evolved into an ornate symbol of wealth.
Each foot of this tureen is resting atop a turtle.                          
Some tureens are presented on a matching tray.

while others were made to stand alone.

How fun would it be to ladle turtle soup out of this tureen?

Beside the shiny silver tureens are many lovely porcelain examples. I loved the whimsical reclining fawn finial on this ceramic piece.

This blue and white masterpiece is topped with a perfect pear.

Somehow a frog found his way to the top of this cabbage.

Here a tiny bird is feasting on fruit and vegetables.

According to Patricia Halfpenny, former collections director at Winterthur, before Louis IV's day, soup was often the primary meal served. In that era, it was sipped communally from a simple bowl with handles. As soup gained popularity as a first course in high society, the tureen evolved into something more elaborate. Can't you imagine a hunting party coming into a castle's banquet hall and being served soup from this boar's head tureen?

As ceramic transfer ware manufacturing became popular the tureen began to be used by the growing middle class.  
Blue-printed pattern on tureen attributed to Joseph Stubbs of Staffordshire, England , circa 1825-30. Photo from Antiques and the Arts Weekly.

My personal favorites are the white, tone-on-tone, tureens.

Which would you choose?  And what would you put in your tureen? 

I conjecture that the tureen of Louis IV's day has evolved once again and is most often used today as a centerpiece, rather than for serving soup. Whatever their use, tureens certainly are lovely containers for anything from soup to flowers.