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Object of Desire: A Tulipière for Every Season


Object of Desire: A Tulipière for Every Season

March 31, 2023

Visitors to the sell-out Vermeer exhibition at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam might find themselves wandering through the Delftware gallery, in search of delightful tulipières. While these tulip-holding ceramic vessels are magnificent, reaching to around 4-feet tall, they are not covetable exactly, and the same can be said for more contemporary offerings at museum shops. A tulipière when it’s empty can resemble a human heart with arteries, and it is not always improved with flowers. Fortunately, the ceramicist Kay Schuckhart in upstate New York has the answer.

A former art director of books and designer for fondly remembered journals like Spy, Kay prefers to work with clay these days. Her ceramics business goes by the name of Furbelow and Bibelot, roughly translated into less romantic language as “pleats and trinkets.”

Photography by Kay Schuckhart.

Above: Tall tulipière by Furbelow and Bibelot (8″ high), made from white stoneware clay, with a clear crackle finish: $225.

Kay has been doing ceramics for seven years and is more of a graphic designer than a tulip maniac, which explains her interest in form over historical pastiche. However, with a long-held interest in archeology and design history, her art references are en point for a handsome tulipière shape: “I’m aiming for grotto-fabulous.”

Above: Smaller tulipière coming in at 6-inches high, with a chocolate stoneware clay body and brushed-on white glaze ($125).

Kay’s first adventure in 3-D modeling was in the form of papier-mâché, using custom water slide decals to incorporate surface imagery. “I was using a lot of seashell images, which eventually translated into shell-encrusted tulipières.”

Above: 12-inch white stoneware tulipière ($375). There are several sizes and finishes; contact Kay via her website for more details.
Above: An 8-inch chocolate clay stoneware tulipière with brushed-on white glaze: $225.

A vessel that can be used during any season. Furbelow and Bibelot will be showing at Flower Show: Celebrate Spring! at Lyndhurst mansion, NY, and at the annual Topiaries & Tulipières event at Hillside, Claverack, NY, on September 10, 2023.

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