Autumn also arrives on my table, bringing warm colors and rough, crumpled fabric. My favorite table is a refined elegance, Wabi Sabi, but at the same time naturally informal. Like those who know the rules but deliberately choose to ignore them. Don’t get me wrong, I also love porcelain edged with gold thread, tablecloths of white flander ironed to perfection, but only for very formal occasions. Also in this case, however, I always look for a note that breaks the monotony of perfection to create “un je ne sais quoi”. The beauty of the table in my opinion lies in the right balance between attention to detail and freedom. My favorite table starts from the table, which must have something lived, must be naturally rough, opaque and incredibly elegant in the lines. Wood must speak. It must tell a story, be welcoming. Maybe it’s wooden board mounted on two trestles, like in my atelier, where the work table is also a dining table. Above the opaque wood, worn by time, there are heavy fabric, such as linen or cotton or, on the contrary, light like gauze. It depends on the table, depending on the moment, depending on the story I want to tell. But always, that fabric that rests on material wood is a prelude. Sometimes it is the dish that inspires me, other times it is the emotion that drags colors and tissues, ceramics and glasses behind. As in a date, it is the passion to break the boundaries. My autumn table mixes the cinabrese rose of the ceramics with the anthracite gray of the runners, the warm color of copper for the opaque cutlery with the black of the raw clay for the small rough and material bowls. The napkins are powder and dried flowers of blue hydrangeas give a nostalgic touch. My autumn table tells of chatter between friends who understand each other on the fly, speaks of those who no longer need to fill the emptiness of embarrassing silences, on the contrary, my table tells of those who are well and can be what they are. On my table, the hem unstitched by the time are very appreciated.
How to set the table when using unpaired handmade ceramics and rough tissues
This type of choice adapts perfectly to any occasion, it can be declined according to the degree of formality or importance you choose. My advice is to choose a homogeneous color palette, the colors of the earth are a perfect base. A neutral palette will always be casual and spontaneously elegant. The contrast points are created using the extremes of the color palette, for example the lightest and the darkest of the neutral shades. For ceramics, if done by hand and purchased by the same artist, they will stand perfectly together. In the case of mixed purchases, then, I advise giving prevalence to color, and choosing a homogeneous pallet, regardless of form. The visual impact will be more enveloping. The same goes for fabric, it is essential to choose natural ones, with an interesting material texture sometimes surprising, linen, cotton, cotton gauze. I use, in addition to linen and cotton, scraps of painter’s canvas, which are called “cencio di nonna”. They are wonderful, I buy them in a historic Florence paint factory. A further step may be the choice to dye fabric using natural dyes, giving the table an unexpected touch. For glasses I suggest simple glasses, nothing colorful and, better to avoid bulky centerpieces with flowers and candles. Let the matter speak, in the generous silence of those who know how to listen for what is “perfectly imperfect”.