Occasional Tables

Posted June 12th, 2011 by admin
Unique occasional table upcycled by Ethical Eco Art

Occasional table upcycled by Ethical Eco Art

A stylish choice of occasional table can add class and interest to a room, quite apart from its functional purpose. Not surprisingly, there is a wide range of occasional tables available for sale online. There are also even more interesting options to choose from at various specialist furniture shops, antique shops and other such treasure troves up and down the country. As with most if not all types of furniture, fashions change over time. Is it better to choose a plain or patterned table ? Is a glass top considered more modern than wood ? What about international styles of occasional tables, such a French or Indian ? Inspired by the most recent occasional table to have been upcycled by Ethical Eco Art (pictured on the left and below) we have done some research into the type of occasional tables people in the UK have been searching for online.

Close-up of detail of painted rose on occasional table by Ethical Eco Art

Close-up of detail of painted rose on occasional table by Ethical Eco Art

The results form an impressively long list so there’s only space to mention some of the most popular and most interesting here. So far as we can tell the following styles are still attracting interest even though some are by no means new:

  • antique occasional tables
  • black occasional tables
  • contemporary occasional tables
  • dark wood occasional tables
  • french occasional tables
  • glass occasional table
  • indian occasional tables
  • mahogany occasional tables
  • mango occasional tables
  • mexican occasional tables
  • mirrored occasional tables
  • modern occasional tables
  • oak occasional table
  • painted occasional tables

While it may be interesting to know a bit about what everyone else is looking for, each individual decision to select an occasional table is a specific choice for the particular room or environment it will enhance. Occasional tables used to be particularly popular in “parlours”, an old-fashioned word used to refer to the nicest reception room in a home. It was often situated at the front of large family houses and only used for best e.g. to entertain people one really wanted to impress – as opposed to everyday friends and neighbours who might more usually join the householders in a kitchen or other general communal area except for on special occasions. Occasional tables are also used in other areas such as entrance halls, hallways and landings. Having generous space in these areas is a true luxury and speaks volumes about the quality and so sometimes also the likely value of a property. However, if left bare such areas can seem stark and uninviting. A carefully selected occasional table may be the perfect solution. Ultimately, selection of such furniture and accessories is all part of the considerable skill involved in interior design.

Memory Boxes

Posted June 8th, 2011 by admin
Memory boxes - unique, individual, artistic

Memory boxes - unique, individual, artistic

Memory boxes are a special, unique, yet increasingly popular way of keeping treasured items safe, protected, respected and all in one place. Some people like to keep their own memory boxes just for themselves to remind themselves of – hopefully cheerful – times past. That may be especially important for people in the early stages of dementia and so who may be starting to forget their memories but still enjoy the items that remind them of good times past. Typical contents include diaries, photographs, certificates of achievements, medals, awards, letters from loved ones and so on.

Some people prepare and update memory boxes as a gift for a loved one, perhaps as a caring way to pass on memories to a child, another relative, or an unrelated yet emotionally close and important young person. There are various reasons for this. In some cases the person for whom the “memories” are being saved may be far away, perhaps in another country, serving his or her country overseas, in hospital or even in prison. It isn’t always possible to give loved ones all the information they would like to have or might possibly ask in the future. It may be particularly difficult to experience the sense of diminishing time in which to share one’s experiences of life while not being able to share it with those one cares about. In some cases such as those of children who have gone missing or who have been adopted at birth it may be impossible to find or even look for him or her – yet the desire to share and pass on memories in the event that he or she did ever turn-up may still be very strong.

For the reasons of all these situations and others, memory boxes are increasingly popular. They are usually also very special. The fact that their contents is often irreplaceable only further encourages people to select a beautiful memory box to protect the memories within. Wouldn’t it be even nicer to also have a story to tell about the box itself ?

Memory boxes can take various forms. They certainly don’t have to look like just a simple boring box. The memory box cupboard in the picture on this page is an example of a recent project by Ethical Eco Art and is (at the time of writing) available for sale from this website. Does it inspire you to save treasured items from your past or that of your family ? Could you imagine carefully stacking old diaries or other keepsakes in it ? If so, then you understand: Memory boxes are far from just “boxes”, they’re a delightful way to keep memories safe, loved, and easy to find.

Recycled Art

Posted June 4th, 2011 by admin

Recycled Art is an interesting concept. Some people don’t quite understand it. Others have different ideas about what recycled art means. For example, is it about works of art such as paintings being re-used in new and original ways ? Alternatively, does the term “recycled art” generally refer to objects created for decorative or inspirational reasons from various bits and pieces that had previously been used for something else ? That is also called upcycled or “up-cycled, by the way.
It’s not surprising that not everyone knows what “recycled art” is because there has always been a lot of discussion about “What is Art?” and the role it does, should or could play in our lives.
Slightly vague terms such as “recycled art” are, in many ways, far more interesting than everyday words that no one thinks twice about – or needs to. One of the fun things about both creating and appreciating recycled art is that it means different things to different people and everyone who has any interest has at least a few examples to mention and stories to tell. Some points of view and examples of recycled art are ingeniously clever or spectacularly impressive in terms of the skill needed to produce or improve the item. Others leave one wondering “what?”, “why?”, “so what?” or “why bother”.  That is, of course, exactly the sort of subjectivity that so often separates “art” of any kind from “science” where objectivity and hard and fast measurements so often dominate.

It is all a matter of opinion
The difference between a “flower” and a “weed” may ultimately be determined by whether or not the gardener wants it to be where it is. A classic vintage dress may just be “any old dress (perhaps ready for the local jumble sale)” to the uninformed browser who doesn’t appreciate its style and context. Likewise, recycled art is best appreciated by those who have some knowledge about it e.g. what an item is made from, who made it, why, and in what context. Such knowledge contributes to the value of the item because it gives “life” in the form of a story to the recycled art itself. People really appreciate the stories associated with their inanimate objects. That is especially clear from looks of interest and excitement on the faces people participating in antiques programs such as the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow.

More thoughts about recycled art
Anyone interested in studying or collecting recycled art could start by asking themselves a few questions about their thoughts about recycled art in general and also their thoughts about any particular piece of recycled art.
Some typical questions to ask could include:

  • What is it made of and where did the materials come from ?
  • When was it made and when were any parts of it made e.g. maybe it was made last year from part of an iron gate crafted over a hundred years ago?
  • Does it look beautiful ?
  • Do you like it because it looks good or because of its story, or perhaps because of the connection between the two ?
  • Would it be possible to make or find another exactly the same?
  • What do you know about the artist and his or her philosophy – especially concerning recycling ?

More posts about recycled art and specific pieces of art made from recycled products will be added here over the next few months.

Business Ethics

Posted April 8th, 2011 by admin

Business ethics is an important subject. It is a key issue in many businesses and also an essential part of many school and college courses in Business Studies. This YouTube clip features a series of short “business ethics” situations for consideration and discussion. It takes almost 9.5 minutes to watch the whole sequence. Go ahead, see what you think.

This clip is interesting because it includes a range of different types of business ethics situations. Some are mostly concerned with medical concerns and implications, while others are more concerned with money and finance. Ultimately, money is a consideration in most business situations but it isn’t always the only or most important consideration. Sometimes a small short-term financial gain is not worth larger long-term risk, and that is just viewing the matter in financial terms. Over time many businesses and some whole industries have been considered unethical by certain people who have a particular objection to their products or services. For example, some religious groups consider alcohol to be morally unacceptable so those people might not want to invest in breweries or vineyards. Other people may feel more or less strongly about businesses or industries that cause pollution or inflect distress on animals. Business ethics is a wide subject that includes consideration of a huge range of different types of concerns about or objections to certain products, services or behaviours.