a chance encounter with john derian

First let me begin by saying that dinner at Craigie on Main was delicious. There were a few issues with service (drinks took far too long to arrive and the kitchen accidentally prepared the Pig Head instead of the Roasted Chicken.. oops), but the incredibly friendly and knowledgeable staff more than made up for it by sending over several complimentary dishes. One of these dishes turned out to be my favorite of the evening - a smooth, spicy hot chocolate served in a shot glass with a tiny spoon... blissss.

But the whole point of this entry is to tell you all that I met John Derian today. I MET JOHN DERIAN TODAY! I can hardly believe I'm typing that.  In preparation for a trip I'm taking to Washington D.C. on Friday, I decided this morning that I was really due to get my bangs trimmed.  I was about five minutes early for my appointment when I parked around the corner from my salon, so I popped into Lekker Unique Home Furnishings, a fantastic home store in the South End.  I had passed the store last week, and noticed that there were quite a few John Derian plates being displayed in the window, as well as what looked like several of his beautiful, minimalist traditional furniture pieces. When I walked in today, it looked as though they were setting up for an event, but I ignored this and bee-lined to to the wall of his signature decoupage plates.

My love affair with John Derian's plates started after my sister pointed them out to me about seven years ago. I dropped a hint (a BIG hint) to my boyfriend at the time, and for our first Christmas together he bought me this plate which I think is so unique and romantic.  Six plates later, it is still my favorite.

The owner approached me as I stood, transfixed, in front of the wall, and told me that all John Derian plates were 20% off today.  "What a bargain!" I thought, and then gushed about my obsession with the artist, gasping, "I am a collector!" (who the hell do I think I am!) Then the owner said to me, "Well, John is here today, he just stepped out for a moment. We're having an in-store event with him from 3 to 7, you should come say hello, I'm sure he'd love to meet a fan."  I practically ran to get my bangs trimmed, came back, and saw John standing alone in the store.  Not to be dramatic but his man is kind of a celebrity to me! I just really admire his creativity and style, and if I had the money, I'd stock up on his Hugo Guinness prints, paper/glass candleholders and Moroccan poufs next.  You just can't go wrong.

I picked a gorgeous heart-shaped plate off the wall and carried it over to John.  We chatted for a few minutes, I told him about my sister's grouping of his citrus plates above her stove, and then asked him if he'd sign my plate.  He told me the story behind the plate I chose.  He found the hand-cut tin heart in an old warehouse.  Being equal parts archivist/historian and artist, he told me that he suspects the original tin cutting dates from the 1890's.  I can't help but think of some poor, heartsick worker carefully cutting out this image in some factory.  While John grabbed a Sharpie, I told him that this was a real treat for me as it was my birthday the other day.  I thanked him and left, and when I looked at the plate in my car, I was so touched to read the message:

Thank you Vanessa Happy Birthday John Derian

My plate in its new home

The lesson my friends? Don't put off that bang trim.. you never know who you could meet on your way there.

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