Owls in the kitchen

A mysterious package arrived in the post a few weeks ago.  Unannounced and anonymous, it turned out to be  a small selection of materials about one of my favourite artists and people, Barbara Jones.

There’s a couple of booklets – one a catalogue of an exhibition in Marlborough in 1999, the other a review of her life and works published in the journal of the Private Libraries Association.  (I think my new aspiration may be to own a private library).

But best of all are a pair of cuttings.  One is her obituary from – possibly – a Hampstead newspaper.  (This is very brown as well as fragile, so I’ve scanned it in black and white for easier reading.)

Barbara Jones obituary

Apologies for the slightly insane scale, but I wanted you to be able to read it.

The other, is even better, because it’s an article about Barbara Jones and her immensely quirky and desirable kitchen.  Which of course includes the owl dishwasher, as featured on here (and BBC television) before.  I think this dates from 1966 or so, as she mentioned having just finished Design for Death.

Barbara Jones kitchen newspaper cutting

Click on this and it will get bigger.  Living in an old house, I particularly like her approach to damp patches, which is just to cover them up with plastic daffodils.  It’s an example we can all follow.

I really have no idea who sent me this at all.  The very short note that came with these gems simply says that they were found in the clearing of a relative’s house and otherwise would have been recycled.

Whoever you are, thank you so much for not recycling.  This package has given me an enormous amount of pleasure and I hope that in sharing it, a few more people will be delighted as well.

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