The Waning Days of Summer - IV


Carstens German Modernist Vase with "French Country" Design (LEO Design)


If the lazy days of summer carry your imagination to the French or Italian countryside, well, let's go!  The handcrafted simplicity of a country village—the fences, signs, streets, buildings—can be a delicious respite from the high-tech, go-go world back home.  And that celebration of handcraft manifests itself in the useful objects of everyday life.  In a modern world which demands a constant technical scramble—and planned obsolescence is no longer challenged—isn't it nice to handle and use something that will never change?  An object which will work exactly as designed, and work just as well, a hundred years from now?

When I look at the vase above, I cannot help but think of the French countryside.  The deep mustard, eggplant and moss green glazes really say "la campagne" to me.  The shape is classic and unaffected—and perfect for a large handful of wildflowers (imagine sunflowers!).  Alas, the vase was not made in France, rather by its neighbor to the East.  But it was handmade, it is low-tech, it does work perfectly—and it can provide that little countryside getaway (in your mind) that you really deserve this summer!  Click on the photo above to learn more about it.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques ( or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248