Gathering around the table is a tradition that spans generations and cultures. We spend significant amounts of time communing over food—holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, and weddings. Because so many of these precious moments happen while we dine, I believe thought and effort should be put into how we set the table. Despite our deeply-engrained memories of the tacky floral bone china that our grandmother brought out only twice a year for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am here to tell you that there is so much more to be discovered when it comes to accessorizing a table. There are innumerable tableware options on the market that will ensure your personality shines through. Want to know the best part? You don’t have to wait for a special occasion, because life, itself, is inherently special. Every day is an opportunity to use the things that mean something to us.
Wedgwood is a brand whose craftsmanship I deeply respect and whose roots I resonate with. Josiah Wedgwood began his career as a potter in 1759, dedicating his life to not only his craft, but to the abolition of slavery. Throughout his illustrious career, with highlights such as becoming the Potter To Her Majesty, he created iconic materials like Jasper, Queen’s Ware, and Black Basalt. To this day, the brand’s focus on craftsmanship continues on, reflected in the training of its artisans, which entails a decade-long apprenticeship to become master craftspeople.
The new jewel of Wedgwood is its collection with iconic interior designer, Sheila Bridges. Sheila’s collection introduces playful whimsy that makes a statement. The pattern features her Harlem Toile de Jouy illustrations, which reimagines the pastoral scenes depicted in traditional French toile, opting to make light of the stereotypes assigned to the Black experience. It features jump ropers doing double Dutch, smartly-dressed gentlemen playing a game of pick-up basketball, and picnickers enjoying watermelon. It’s a bold and exciting flipping of narratives that is heartwarming and visually striking. What a privilege and joy it is to study these pieces of tableware daily.
But collecting does not have to mean acquiring something new. I love that Sheila’s collection is not completely rounded-out in its offerings. There are many opportunities to mix-in vintage patterns that you love into your table setting. Reaching back into the archives for Jasperware, for example, will give your table a beautifully-blended curation of old and new. This is the perfect opportunity to gift a bride-to-be with something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue!