This week brought in the calming and comforting Year of the Sheep. So, good bye to the Horse Year, and thank you for the ride, but now we would like to concentrate on things in hand, take stock of what we have and move forward slowly, enjoying the time doing so.
It really is the start of a new beginning, so not surprisingly that we call it Chinese New Year, but what we should be calling it is ‘Spring Festival’, as that’s what it is known as in China. Like our Spring it symbolises new life, new beginnings and the start of things to come. We like that here at Qing, especially after our own New Year.
And with that we say ‘Xin Nian Kuai Le!’…or Happy New Year to you. You’ll see lots of people exclaiming ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’, the Cantonese equivalent greeting, but strictly speaking this means ‘good luck’, or ‘prosper’, so you don’t hear that much in mainland China. Either way, a bit of both might be nice eh! And we sincerely hope you get some too.
Happy New Year from Anne-Marie, Simon and Mao Ping. x
There are times when I think, ‘Ooh, I must blog that’, then the time goes and before you know it and you’re onto something else. My Achillies Heel and one that I constantly tell myself off over! Then something comes along to make you think, Wow!, That’s why I should blog. This particular thing was the wonderful blog by a firm called Terry’s Blinds up in Stoke on Trent, and their designer insights feature.
Being in the interiors business it is great to follow other interior companies and specialists on Twitter and Facebook, to get ideas and share insights. So, when I was asked by Terry’s Blinds to write up my top tips for current designs, I was both delighted and inspired. There are so many things going on at the moment, we are currently being asked a lot about colour, seating and individual pieces that will mix and match in a home. How do I get all of this across in a blog post? Well, Terry’s Blinds blog does just that. A simple question and answer format, with beautiful photographs, I couldn’t have done better if I’d tried! Not only did it give me a chance to explain about Qing art, what makes us special and why we do this, I could let people know the latest trends with us and show pieces that are gaining a lot of interest. Then, on top of that, I got to look at all the other designers insights and get ideas there too! Just what I needed.
So, here I sit, at my computer, blogging and already thinking of the next thing I want to write! Thanks Terry’s Blinds, great to get to know you and I look forward to more of your posts in the future.
While Anne-Marie is in China, very busy with the buying trip, some of the furniture’s getting prepared to go to customers. Early morning today one of the sideboards is being picked up and is on its way to Scotland!
This week, we have made a customer very happy. He bought a beautiful red wardrobe with golden butterflies on it, it’s gorgeous! We will be delivering it later this week and I can’t wait to see it in his house.
The stockroom looks very good after a week’s hard work, a lot of space for the new furniture’s and ceramics now. It has really changed the feel to the place.
The upcoming week will be a week with a lot of deliveries to customers, we will make our customers happy, which is what we are good at in Qing!
It’s already my second week at Qing Art and I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by.
Yesterday a new shipment came in. We got two beautiful cabinets which have to be delivered to two customers. One is going to Scotland and the other one is going to Paris!!!
Keeping with the international theme, Anne-Marie is going to Beijing this week also. She will meet Moaping there and together they will be sourcing new furniture and art work for Qing. I am curious as how I will cope with everything while Anne-Marie is not here.
This up coming week’s challenge is working in the stockroom to reorganise it and make space for the following shipment. It’s very busy here!
I’m excited about what the week will bring. I’ll keep you posted!
My name is Eline Bakker and the next three months, I will help Anne-Marie in Qing and learn about the business. I will be writing a blog post each week while I am here.
Monday, the 3th February, was my first day and if I’m honest, I was a little nervous. However, after just a few minutes I realised that my fears were completely unfounded as I fitted into Qing easily and started to enjoy the thought of the challenges ahead. Anne-Marie and I talked about Qing and what my tasks would be in the coming months.
I’m now really excited and I am surrounded by such fabulous objects to explore and ideas to do, to help make Qing an even better place to be.
I can’t wait to keep you updated on all the things to do while I’m in England.
One of the best things about going out to see our artists in Beijing, apart from the fantastic food that I always eat too much off, is seeing the variety and creativity they produce in their work. Never do they cease to amaze me with their outstanding designs and the pains they go into detail with. Our latest visit was no exception.
A selection of Li’s work now showing in Portico Gallery Sevenoaks
And that is why it is no surprise that other galleries and shops are asking to stock some of our designers. Having worked previously with the wonderful Portico Gallery in Sevenoaks, Kent before, we were delighted that they asked to sell more of Li’s new ceramics from Qing Art. Impressed with the quality of the pieces and the innovative design they fit very well into modern, contemporary spaces.
Steps up to the Bamboo Grove in Dong Lin Temple, Jiangxi.
What a week! To start with the weather out in China at the moment is amazing, I’d forgotten what Spring was meant to be like. Bright days, sunshine and budding green leaves sprouting up everywhere. Why don’t I go to China in the Spring more often? I’m pencilling it in for next year!
After having to cancel our Christmas trip it was wonderful to go over and see all our lovely and very talented friends. We have brand new art from An Gu Yu, gorgeous ceramics from the brothers Li and a new jewellery designer looks like it is on the cards! You can get a lot done in a week and Mao Ping and I certainly did. We don’t waste a minute and as soon as I landed I was whisked off to see Yue and his new range of furntiure…closely followed by lunch! Well, it would seem rude not to make the most of the opportunites to eat all that delicious food that I miss so much!
Life was not all work though and with a trip down south to see new ceramicists we managed to capture a bit of time to play too.
Mao Ping in Dong Lin Temple.
Dong Lin Temple in Jiangxi, the provence where Li’s brother has his pottery studio is beautiful and gave us time to reflect on Qing Art’s wonderful five year history and think afresh to the next five years! We even had time to climb the incredible stone stairway to the top surrounded by nothing but bamboo and the sound of birds. Bliss.
Over the next few blog posts I’ll update you on our new stock, our new ventures and show you some of the behind the scenes images of our artists. Until then, it’s great to be back. It’s even better now the sun is coming out here! And lovely to hear from our many customers through Facebook and Twitter. Please let your friends know we’re on there if they are not following us already. Thank you!
What an exciting week this was, a new shipment came in with lots of new furniture. A few custom built pieces went the same week to their buyers, the rest is in our shop where it is showing of its beauty.
Not only for Qing was this an exciting week, but also for Said who had his first week of work here. His first workday was when the shipment came in and he really proved himself with his hard work.
Mao Ping went back to Beijing to see his wife and baby girl, Anne-Marie is joining him today and together they will go to Yue’s furniture studio as well as go to see Li’s new ceramics, how exciting!
As Anne-Marie and Mao Ping are gone the interns will take over Qing for the next ten days. Isn’t it great that they trust us and give us the opportunity to show what we can do?
Come and give Qing a visit while we look after the shop!
As I was saying in my last blog post Said worked half a day at Qing last Friday. He helped Anne-Marie with moving new ceramic stools upstairs and doing some of the stock take, which is a good exercise to learn new words. I’m really delighted to have him working with us, he is a hard worker and I think he will fit in just right.
This coming Monday a new shipment will arrive and we’ll be busy changing the displays again. To make it easier Anne-Marie and I started to clean up down stairs so we know exactly what to find where. I can’t wait to see the new furniture that comes in (I added a picture of one of the incoming furniture, have a look).
Come and see our new items and be surprised of the beauty .
Six weeks have gone by and I have six more weeks to go. The time really flies when you’re having fun and making new friends.
One of my new friends is Mao Ping, I had the pleasure to meet him and got to know him better during a nice dinner in London. He is an absolutely nice guy with a great sense of humour!
Last Monday Qing had its ceramics photographed by Niko Kolios in the new showroom that Qing will move into at the end of this year! The photos are lovely and we can’t wait to show them to you. Niko is also currently studying photo journalism, with one of his projects being portrait photos, allowing me to be one of the subjects. It was very nice and while he was taking the photos we got to know each other better. It really feels good to get to know new people!
My friends over here also met a new face, Rutger, my boyfriend, who came over from Holland. We had an incredible weekend visiting new places and looking at all the things that I’ve learnt here in the six weeks, as well as meeting all my new friends. Said, a new student from Holland also arrived to explore the culture of England and to improve his English. He lives with me in Birchington at Steve’s residence, so it will be interesting to help him learn. Tomorrow he will spend half a day working at Qing! His English needs a lot of improvement so pop in and have a small talk with him :)