Yesterday, I had a Sunday visit, via email, with Tricia Foley. Tricia worked with us at Victoria in a variety of roles. Sometimes she was on staff; sometimes a very productive freelance contributing editor. She helped pioneer America's interest in and knowledge of tea with her books--and she shared with us her distinctive lifestyle. Trish loves the past--but nor more than the present. And she combines them both beautifully with a touch that looks simple but can't be imitated. She aims to inspire your own creativity.
Tricia Foley stays busy. And recently the fruits of her labor is a marvelous book: At Home with Wedgwood. Two other Victoria folk are associated with this wonderful feat on the products of the company that has produced some of our most treasured china--Cathie Calvert as writer and Jeff McNamara as photographer. The only credit I take here is in recognizing a truly good book when I see one.
Having been behind many a page, I really appreciate how a subject can be treated from a variety of points of view. This book has the history of the company, starting with Josiah Wedgwood. The dedication to him is a Tricia Foley inspiration if I have ever seen one--an antique men's collar with several pieces of black china. Suitable for framing!
But what is most inspiring about this book is the art of the table, it's subtitle. This art is displayed through the work of contemporary lifestyle leaders such as Martha Stewart, Vera Wang, and Tricia herself.
One may love Wedgwood, as I do. My best dishes and my everyday ones are the same--Wedgwood's strawberry and vine. It was Queen Victoria's, too, by the way. But this book is also full of great table setting and entertaining ideas. My husband always says that I think holiday dinners are done when I've set the table. I just adore doing it--and plan them days before. He does the cooking while I'm coolly setting china and flatware on our table, arranging fruit displays, and making sure the candles aren't going to poke anyone in the eye. Our table is one that came out of my association with Hooker Furniture and you'll find on their web site some hints I gave for setting hospitable tables.
Take a sneak peek of At Home with Wedgwood. You'll also get a view into what Tricia has been up to since she produced pages for Victoria. She helped set our style--now she can help you set your table with a simple grace. Bravo to all who put out this unique book. It's not on my bookshelf--it's on my dining table, open to a page I want to make part of my art of everyday living well.