I meet many interesting people every day and I learn neat things from them. This week I met a family from Sheffield, England, and when they told me where they lived I mentioned Sheffield knives and silver. I got a short tutorial from the father. He told me about David Mellor, who was a famous craftsman-designer.
Mr. Mellor was born in Sheffield and was an outstanding British flatwear cutlery designer who perfected his craft beginning in the 1950s and lasting through much of the 20th century.
Mr. Mellor also designed lampposts and park benches that helped make England's streets and parks more attractive. He wanted only to produce beautiful objects of every sort even though some were mundane. Some of his cutlery patterns are highly collectible and bear his name instead of "Sheffield" which is unusual. So now you have something to search for at flea markets and antiques shops. Stock Farm Antiques here in Bluffton would be a good place to begin the hunt.
Sweater with a past
Do you own or want to own a Breton sweater or shirt. You know them quite well I am sure. The original ones are off-white with navy stripes and button on one side of the neck. Leave it to the French to give us such an amazing fashion statement that has been around since the 18th century. Coco Chanel gave us those wonderful tweed jackets with fringe, beautiful beige shoes with black capped toes and all sorts of glamorous duds but never something so ordinary and yet so lasting as this sweater.
The wives and daughters of merchants and fishermen in Brittany came up with the design. In the 19th centur,y the ladies knitted them with a secret stitch that provided protection for the sailors from the harsh elements of wind and rain while sailing to and from England with goods to sell. It also became a way for the French sailors to be recognized from a distance.
The sweater has been part of the official French naval uniform since 1858. The 21 navy stripes on the sweaters and shirts correspond to victories of Napoleon's naval fleet over the British. This classic sweater has been considered a French sailor's second skin and in all things nautical there is nothing that compares. The original version of this iconic sweater is still being produced in the small village of St. James not far from Mont- Saint Michel.
I recently saw a picture in a fashion magazine of a sheared white mink coat sporting stripes a-la-"the sweater." That coat probably sells in the thousands but you can get you French sailor look at L.L. Bean for $29.99 plus shipping. Leave it to the land of Champagne and croissants to give us a little chic fashion statement that has no age and no limit as to how to wear it. But a beret perched on one side of your noggin might be tres bon, too..
It won't be long before we hear clippety, clopping on Calhoun Street. The Budweiser Clydesdale horses are returning March 15 to Old Town Bluffton. They will muster at the corner of Lawrence and Calhoun to be harnessed and readied for the trek down Calhoun Street to the Promenade and back. We had such a marvelous time last year watching them. Don't miss them!
Tat and I had a very tasty fun time at the grand opening fete celebrating the launch of the Lowcountry Kitchen.
This is a wonderful new spot on Red Cedar Street that houses a sparkling shiny new kitchen that has space for events and for caterers to use as a cooking spot. The space was packed with many friends and well-wishers who nibbled and noshed on all manner of delightful offerings. Geist Ussery, Lori Holland, Jerri Husch and Amanda Walton thank you. It was divine and good wishes to you all.
Helping with tasting many of the goodies were Lynne Hummell, Wendy Yeager, Jennifer Green-Bazzle, Lori and Peter Kraft with Nedra Brown, Kim and Thomas Viljac, Annelore Harrell and Nick and Tamela Maxim and many other happy faces.
Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street or at firstname.lastname@example.org.