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The tool-whisperer and the ‘carottier’

One of my New Year resolutions is to try to let go of a few things… beautiful things that I’ve been collecting over the years.

My friend Corey once told me, when you walk past something and you don’t ‘see’ it anymore then it’s time to let it go… it’s easier said than done.

This ‘carottier’, an apple corer is a beautiful piece of ‘Art Populaire’, a handmade tool from the 18th Century. What makes it extra special is that it’s owner carved ‘his’ initials into the wooden handle, it reads ‘MFX’.

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Normally I’m drawn to threads; silk, tattered, torn, mended, much-loved and lived in threads.

But something about this tool was incredibly comforting.

Simplicity. Childhood. Nourishment

This was his tool.

His initials held me spellbound… I imagined the tart taste of apple. It was so peculiar.

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It also didn’t help that my friend, who was selling the tools – is a major ‘art populaire’ devotee. A very shy man by nature,  I love to pick something up and ask him, “what is this for” (“ça sert a quoi“) just to watch his face light up in a smile. He takes the beloved tool from you, turns it over in his hand lovingly and he takes a deep breath. Every story he weaves is a love story.

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He doesn’t do it on purpose. He just sweeps you up with his passion – he makes the big soft fabric-loving, feminine you, LOVE tools. Cold metal, chisels, hammers, keys, locks, sculpted wood … you suddenly need it in your life!

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And so this is how I adopted the ‘Carottier’. I decided it had to come home so that I could adore it.

Over the years, I would take it out of the drawer, hold it in my hand, feel the weight of the cold metal and let the wood caress my palm.

The powerful feeling of connection never failed but I just couldn’t bring myself to use it as it was intended, it sadly never saw the inside of an apple….and so back it would go into the drawer of antique treasures.

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As I accumulated more brocante treasures, I thought of MFX’s apple corer less and less. .. and then earlier this week I found it hidden at the back of the drawer under a jumble of cupcake holders – oh the shame!

I thought back to Coreys words and realised that my time as its guardian is up and it needs to be passed on!

And so the clear out begins…lots of goodies to be found in the Etsy boutique, thread, tools, paper, silk, treasures galore.

But first I wanted to show you a glimpse into his beautiful world… so you can see it for yourself

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At the entranceway to their home

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Enamelware, rolling pins, handmade cutting boards… so many gorgeous antique homewares

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Gorgeous textures everywhere

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He has priced every single piece with a tiny ticket… aren’t these enamelled whisks beautiful?!

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I had to ‘adopt’ this pichet too… just saying!

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His wife collects Provencal pottery and every piece is incredible. The only complaint we ever hear from our French Musettes when we bring them to visit these dealers is that they wish they were filling a container and not simply a suitcase.

A bientôt

Ruth

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