Designers from Orlando, Jacksonville and Fort Lauderdale are profiled.
[Photo: Christopher Casler]
About 25 years ago, Debbie Sheaf picked up two little cottage-shaped pitchers at a south Florida flea market for $17. It turned out that the two pitchers — which were from 1880s England — were worth $595. And that was back in the '80s. "Then it became all about the hunt," she says. "That's when I started collecting Majolica," a kind of European tin-glazed earthenware characterized by bold hues, such as turquoise, orange and yellow. Sheaf gravitates toward English Majolica, which she says is the most colorful and features the most interesting patterns. "Majolica has made a comeback of sorts in recent years, so there are a lot of reproductions. But the details are not as clear on those and the glazes not as appropriate. ... Clients who have wanted it have either been in my home or seen it in my portfolio."
Universal appeal: When it comes to incorporating Majolica into a client's design, Sheaf says, "I wouldn't necessarily put it on display in an extremely contemporary space, but I don't mind mixing the old with the new. That's what makes it eclectic."
Making a statement: "I painted one wall in my home turquoise, and my Majolica just pops against it. I made one client paint a wall hot pink. Her husband may not like me for it, but she did."