A Country Escape
A Country Escape for Every Meal?
Mais Oui (Yes!)
The story behind Juliska’s Country Estate pattern is a very personal journey. We’re true believers that all beautiful things are born of love, and this collection is no exception. When David and I got married, his dear family friend, ceramist Deborah Sears, was commissioned to paint a service commemorating our courtship and wedding from Paris to London, New York to California. Not only did she paint dinnerware, but she also hand-painted a beautiful little candle for every single one of our guests, which was their party favor upon leaving the wedding. There was so much love and attention poured into every detail that her painting of our wedding service and favors was the seed for what has now become one of our most beloved collections: Country Estate.
We have long known Sears as an “Auntie,” but she is also an incredibly accomplished ceramicist and painter who specializes in the authentic reproduction of Delftware—the classically blue and white pottery that dates to 17th century Netherlands. Not only does she use authentic ceramic glazes and metal oxide formulas for Delftware, she also paints in the traditional style with Asian brushes in a way that honors the classic tradition of chinoiserie—albeit with a completely fresh artistic expression in her work. Although some people have compared it to toile, a Francophile favorite that was invented in 1700s Ireland, her artwork is more scenic, done in several hues of the same color. No wonder English nobility who cannot be named are fans! Every single piece she creates has a little story woven into it, so to look at a selection of her dinnerware is to experience an entire narrative. And in the case of our Country Estate collection, it’s a bit like watching a love story unfold in front of your eyes.
Our Country Estate pattern may call the countryside to mind, but you don’t have to trot it out in rural locales for it to be gorgeous. It's extremely versatile. I love using it year-round as a replacement for my everyday white dinnerware. But mostly I love what it represents. When we were in the process of enlisting Sears to paint it, we flew to England and, wearing wellies in her barn-turned-studio overlooking a field of sheep, set about talking about the hallmarks of a well-lived life that we wanted to symbolize. As you cast your eyes over the Juliska Country Estate, you’ll see a gate with its doors flung open—as if to welcome all; a conservatory where seedlings grow to greatness before being transplanted into the real world; and characters that evoke feelings of love and togetherness, with a love for wildlife and animals. There is a sense of celebration and preservation, as well as custodianship…and passing these joys along to the next generations. I know I have waxed poetically about all the symbolism in this artwork, but if it took you five minutes to read this, it took us five months to dream it.