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Wayne's World:
Costa Nova China Gets a Restyle

Costa Nova china delivery incoming and a plan to restyle and reshoot. Because why the hell not. Read about our inspiration for the photography and plan your very own sweet treat tablescape.

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Might it be that a Lenten resolution to forgo refined sugar has led to an unhealthy obsession with all manner of cakes and biscuits? Or might it be that as a child of the 70s (with a brief career at nursery in Northern California), Wayne Thiebaud’s paintings are writ quite large in my life? Or might we be following Clare Ptak’s Violet Cakes Instagram account with every intention of achieving our very own baking nirvana?

Wayne thiebaud: Cold Case 2010-13

Wayne Thiebaud

I know. Yet another Art History lesson (will she never shut up?). Wayne Thibaud grew up in LA but a trip to New York and an introduction to artists Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns (Abstract Expressionists moving towards Pop Art) had a significant impact on his work. Marrying the heightened colours and marked shadows of Southern California with Pop’s everyday emblems (for Thibaud these emblems are pies, pastries, ice creams and sweets), Thibaud developed his characteristic style. Unlike other Pop artists (think Warhol and Liechtenstein), Thibaud’s paintings are meticulous, observational still lifes, drawn from life. And if that all sounds a bit poe faced, have a look at the work. It is quite simply joyous.

Wayne Thiebaud: Boston Cremes 1962

The China

One of the perennial favourites in store and online we felt that our Pearl China by Costa Nova was worthy of a little photographic update. This is glazed stoneware, made in Portugal (oven, microwave, freezer and dishwasher proof) and is so beautifully simple in design, that it’s the perfect foil for any tablescaping theme. You may not, in actual fact, be planning a dinner party consisting of copious quantities of buttercream and sprinkles, you may prefer some subtle floral arrangement (we have a jug for that) or a simple spread of sandwiches (we have a platter for that). Cereal bowls and bread plates take you from breakfast to pasta bowls for lunch to dinner plates and small bowls for supper, with all manner of platters, large bowls, footed bowls and cakestands for your serveware requirements.

The Shoot

Once the baked goods were sourced (Battenberg, Swiss roll, Bakewell tarts and donuts: natural ingredients didn’t feature too highly) and baked (fairy cakes: slightly more natural but food colouring had a role to play), the improvised studio (the main room on the Womenswear floor) had to mirror the colours and lighting of a Thibaud painting. Key characteristics are pastel shades, simple set ups and strong shadows. And turns out, Amy is an absolute whizz, not only with the camera but with her trusty light.

A vintage glass cake display case containing Pearl White china and  traditional tea time cakes.
The leftover cakes which were in the middle of being eaten.

The Aftermath

I don’t want to name names. But there may have been a Hambledon staffer or two laying swift claim to a donut at the end of the shoot. Battenberg also v popular. Violet flavoured fairy cake less so.

For those of you further afield than The Hambledon’s kitchen, all the Costa Nova china (sans baked goods) is available online, with all of Amy’s photos for inspiration.

Some of our Hero Costa Nova Pieces

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Shipping & Returns
All orders are shipped with DHL or UPS.

UK Mainland Delivery (inc. Northern Ireland):
Standard Delivery is free of charge for all orders over £100 (£4.95 for orders less than £100) and takes 3-5 working days
Express is £6.95 and takes 1-2 working days
UK Highlands and Islands is £9.95

Non-UK Delivery:
European Standard Delivery is £15.00
U.S.A Standard Delivery is £20.00
Rest of the World Standard Delivery is £25

(Please note that this charge includes delivery only, therefore non-EU customers will be responsible for import duties and local taxes)