A Spring Vodka and Salmon Soirée, Chez Cécile
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A few months ago Julie and I were putting together photographs of Cécile Daladier's last vernissage into a post and Julie said, "wouldn't it be fantastic if you could go to one of these?" Which is why it was so surreal when I found myself walking up to the green metal door of Cécile's home and atelier for her spring vodka soirée, in person. Photography by Alexa Hotz for Remodelista. I arrived at the same courtyard I had seen in photographs many times before, and walked through Cécile and husband Nicolas Soulier's tiny garden. The garden is full of Capteurs, zinc sculptures designed by the couple under the name Assaï, made to capture rainwater to reflect the sky. Entering Cécile's atelier is like being in a dream—with the late afternoon sun streaming past the wild roses outside, in through the massive windows, and casting shadows across the walls. All of this Nicolas took note of, constantly encouraging me to "get that shot!" as he admired the light from a bentwood chair in the corner of the room. Everything had a warm glow that evening; the off-white walls were speckled with small, slightly rusted nails—practically an installation itself, but meant for hanging shelving and garlands. In the corner of the room, a simple Ikea Fas Clamp Spotlight illuminates a shelf of ceramics just above a set of four Capteurs. And on the unfinished wood floors, streaks of paint serve as a reminder of Cécile's past life as a painter, before she found clay. While I was downstairs obsessively photographing vases, Lucile Demory called me upstairs where they were preparing the salmon. I sat watching and listening to their stories as Cécile would stop to show me an iPhone slideshow of images taken at her studio in the Drôme. Some of the open fire pit of the raku process and others of the fishmonger, the one responsible for the salmon, smiling from behind a table at an outdoor market. Salmon served with fresh tarragon, zucchini, and gem lettuces arranged on raku ware. Cécile in the kitchen. Along with the salmon were a few loaves of homemade bread, one of which was made with dried, edible flowers. Back downstairs, Cécile and a few friends accent the collection of vases with cuts from the garden and arranged the studio table with the evening's meal. Cécile served tisanes of mint and rosemary and a recent discovery, organic vodka from Domaines des Hautes Glaces , an alpine farm distillery in the French Alps. A head of lettuce in a shallow pool of water, meant for pulling leaves off and enjoying with the bread. The collection of raku pieces range in color from a light salmon pink to a verdigris-like green. Lucile explained the process of Cécile's hand-formed ceramics, and how the raku oxidation process gives each piece its own color. A single vase on a white wooden shelf displays green stems from the atelier garden. As guests arrive, they take a hand-formed ceramic shot glass made especially for the vodka soirée and nestle around the studio table to admire the collection. I do the same and this is where my story leaves off. To see more of Cécile and Nicolas' home and learn about the raku process, you'll find our house call on Remodelista and garden visit on Gardenista this Thursday.