Amy Revier: I deliberated for ages, but rather than spend any more time agonizing over the choice, I decided on this blue and white glazed terracotta bowl, which I found in my favorite West Sussex antiques town. I have since researched this style of pottery and found that this bowl is likely a 19th-century Fajalauza ceramic piece from Granada, Spain. I am now forever on the hunt for more.
Permanent Collection: Can you tell us any more about how you uncovered this jewel?
A.R.: I discovered this bowl while treasure hunting for books and antiques in the English countryside. I love exploring Britain—its dramatically steep grassy hills, ancient woodlands, windswept seaside cliffs, and its seemingly endless list of National Trust properties to visit. This bowl was found on a bright July morning in Petworth, West Sussex.
P.C.: Is there anything else about this bowl that makes it special to you?
A.R.: It encapsulates many things about being home—it's warm, unfussy, it feels a bit wild and also completely serene. Its shape references food and generosity. Its edges are left rippled, pinch-pot style, which shows evidence of the hand.
P.C.: Where are some of your favorite spots to source antiques?
A.R.: I love to collect unusual books on travel, art, poetry, and fiction. For bookshops, there is Bow Window Books in Lewes, East Sussex for the most magical discoveries. They specialize in publications by Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury Group, and Charleston House, once home to Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf, is nearby. Henry Sotheran’s and Thomas Heneage Art Books in London are also favorites for unusual, out of print books and ephemera at very reasonable prices. For objects and the home, Sunbury Antiques Market at Kempton Racecourse is a wonderful bi-monthly fair just outside of London. Arrive at sunrise for a maze of paintings, ceramics, lighting, and furniture. Then celebrate your findings with a builder’s tea and sausage roll at the market stand. My local treasure is the unassuming Keith Fawkes Bookshop in Hampstead. An informal antiques market sets up every day outside the bookshop and, on occasion, there are real gems to be found. New stock comes in daily from old Hampstead and Highgate houses. Half my house is furnished from there!
P.C.: What are your favorite museums and galleries?
A.R.: In London, there are consistently great shows on at Stuart Shave Modern Art, Blue Mountain School’s Blue Projects room, Southard Reid gallery, Studio Voltaire, and Camden Arts Centre. In the evening, I love the BFI for old films. On occasion they’ll feature a live pianist to accompany a silent film. My favorite museum is The Chinati Foundation & The Judd Foundation in Marfa, Texas, which houses permanently installed spaces and archives of artist Donald Judd’s, including his private residences. I volunteered there as an art student growing up in Texas. This area and its residents epitomize the old charm of Texan culture. It takes at least three days to tour the entire complex, and there are often immense lighting storms that roll through as you are surrounded by architecture that was so thoughtfully built to house art, books, found objects, furniture, and textiles – both contemporary and ancient. I also love Vatnasafn / Library of Water, artist Roni Horn’s permanent installation in the small town of Stykkishólmur on the Snæfellsness peninsula in Iceland. The space functions as a kind of lighthouse that contains works connected to Horn’s interest in weather, water, words, and identities. Along the drive from Reykjavik to Snæfellsness the land is dotted with ‘hot pots’ or natural hot spring pools to take a dip in. There are blackened lava caves by the sea and my favorite café on the cliffside, serving only one thing – lobster stew full of butter – while you are bundled in blankets.
P.C.: What dish would be the equivalent to your ‘permanent collection’ thing?
A.R.: Homemade blue corn fish tacos with ‘dragon salsa’, a tomatillo-avocado salsa recipe that my dad and I put together, pico di gallo, black beans, grilled corn, lime, blackened peppers, served family-style with a fresh margarita. Then continuing into the following morning: breakfast tacos with eggs, potatoes, and salsa.
P.C.: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
A.R.: A one-way ticket and invitation to move to London from my boyfriend, Clayton, who is a professor of philosophy.
A.R.: I am planning for a residency at Capellagården in Sweden for March. It’s located on a tiny southern island called Öland, where students harvest and spin their own flax from their extensive garden. I’m building a project around the garden and its archive of handspun material.