Your City // For Creatives: Sourcing Materials And Inspiration In Provence
As a designer and maker of bags and cushions using vintage and antique textiles, I find that I have to go to antique and flea markets to keep up my stocks of fabric and accessories. Not such a hardship, when I can attend the wonderful market in L’Isle sur la Sorgue in the south of France, often called the Venice of Provence because of the many waterways that weave their way round the old town.
Today only a few water wheels remain, but the town has kept its charm and is worth a visit whether or not you are interested in antiques – now the principal economic activity of the town. Old warehouses have been converted and sell all manner of antiques, art and collectables.
Not the only one having a rummage.
The weekly Sunday antique/brocante market is fun and combined with a typical Provencal food market. But twice a year the International Antique and Brocante (or Flea Market) Fair is held at Easter and again in mid-August. I get serious inspiration from this event, not just from fabric related items but from the other stall holders – how they curate their collections and display their items.
Rulers and Stencils- I haven’t yet figured out how I can use any of these for a bag or cushion, but I’m working on it!
I always make a bee-line for the Swiss Army Surplus Stall where I pick up old leather straps to make bag handles, leather cord and all manner of bits and pieces that I can use for my bags.
Swiss Army Surplus – you never know what you will find.
The next International Antique and Brocante Fair in Isle-sur la-Sorgue runs from 11th – 15th August 2012 – have fun, be inspired and be prepared to haggle.
All photos and text are the copyright of Rebecca Engels.
Rebecca Engels is the owner of Rebecca’s Aix. A passion for France and fabric has resulted in a collection of handmade bags, cushions and accessories made from a variety of antique and vintage fabrics, often combined with modern Liberty prints. The fabrics are found at antique markets in Britain and France. Buttons, leather straps and trimmings are salvaged and recycled.
Do you attend any markets when sourcing supplies? We’d love to hear in the comments.