Saturday, May 4, 2013

Introducing Mary Tinduski of MJH Design Arts

Please welcome Mary Tinduski of MJH Designs and her Blog Jones and Cole as a part of our Designer 2013 Features

Mary is an  antiques, art and decorative arts dealer located in Pasadena, California. She loves almost everything in the decorative arts arena from mid-20th c. furniture and abstract expressionism to the Old Masters and 16th century furniture. To her buying and selling is a serendipitous adventure. She  hopes to share some of these adventures, sharing information regarding the decorative arts and new/old trends, auctions and great dealers in the Los Angeles area. She  has been involved in the Interior Design Arena and loves the client interaction relationship. Jones (huge blue/gray poodle) is my sales associate and is usually able to help with many client requests.

She has a wide range of 17th c. through 18th c. antique furnishing, 20th c. furnishings, paintings, works on paper, lighting and decorative objects. Additionally, we design and create unique lighting elements many of which have been shipped throughout the United States and to Europe.She has  turned her love of textiles into a line of unique custom vintage Mariano Fortuny pillows; 17th c. and 18th c. tapestry pillows are in the works. Mary delights in the blending of disparate design elements into a cohesive whole. Please browse her on-line store and contact her for additional information or photos.

Staffordshire Dalmatians

1)      Welcome Mary as part of the 2013 Designer Series. Tell us how your love for antiques and design began?

I can remember being in an antiques store when I was about 3 or 4 and deciding that this was what I would do when "I got bigger"--I remember the huge (to my eyes) canopy bed that was in the room and the beautiful textiles. I think that the bed cover was I guess that I'm doing what I have always wanted to do. My mother would often take us to art museums as little children and she taught me to sew at a very early age--so I think a love of art and detail became part of me from childhood. Of course, growing up near Mexico City which was an amazing 20th century cultural center for modern design combined with being surrounded by the beautiful Spanish colonial buildings and art and Aztec ruins was a huge influence.

After college, Duke, I moved to New York and spent my week-ends at the Met and Frick museums (and walking pas Tiffany's windows). And finally my seven years in Spain (besides giving birth to 3 beautiful babies) were spent learning the trade (and buying from) from the Spanish antiques dealers who were so helpful in answering all of my many many questions.

 Carrera Marble Bust 

Louis XV and Turquoise Bronze Sconces
2)     What is some of your background in the Antiques Business?

As far as background-- I opened my first shop in 1993 and have been active in the trade ever since. I have taken many courses in interior design, as I feel that antiques must serve a practical purpose--all elements in a room must bring life to the space: the antique furniture (and new), art works and decorative "stuff" provide interest and light and beauty, but they must be in tune with current design aesthetics. Living in Southern California, I am surprised by the disproportionate scaling of interiors --scale is of supreme importance (but you must always have that element of surprise or dissonance for great energy).  I'm currently buying good 18th and early 19th century mahogany pieces as I feel we will sooner rather than later start to integrate mahogany back into current interior design--and what is well designed and well constructed, such as 17th, 18th or early 19th century antique pieces, will always be valuable.

American Sheraton Daybed

Venetian Bergere in Purple

3)     Where does your inspiration come from?

I guess I'm most inspired by keeping up to date by reading many shelter magazines, design and art blogs ---I love blogs and blogging!!, of course, I study the weekly 1st dibs postings. And I go to auctions. The best way to learn this trade is to go to auctions. I think that I have probably been to 1000+ auctions. You learn so much from simply watching and listening. I design some of my lighting and I love using antique fragments, bronzes (a pair of signed 18th century chenets are now lamps with modern lucite bases), architectural elements--my favorite design for lighting element is a pair of very large gilt bronze 20th c.Louis XV sconces that I reworked with rock crystal beading and large chunks of turquoise. I also beaded a pair of Chinoiserie lanterns in coral, rock crystal and black tourmaline--these made it to the first page of 1st dibs a few years ago. And we haven't even touched on Chinoiserie or Japanese art--I love it all.

4)     Do you have a special love in  your heart for certain genres in the antiques world

Louie Style XV Sofa

I'm a bit of a purest--I love neoclassical design and furniture; that love extends to Deco and mid- 20th century furniture that takes its inspiration from Regency or Louis XVI and early 19th century design. But I also love Spanish and Spanish Colonial Baroque pieces. Spanish antiques are not as froo-froo as English, French or Italian pieces. Spain ruled parts of the Netherlands and Italy in the 16th century so there is strong connection between Spanish and Flemish and some Italian antiques and art--it is more monastic and architectural without the grand flourishes and refinements of English or French furniture. It is this pared down aesthetic that mixes so perfectly with mid-20th century design elements.

Japanese Stacking Tables
5)     I have seen your interest in antique textiles growing, or so it seems. Is that a new passion?

You are spot on with this question! I have always loved textiles--the touch and smell and colors and textures. About 5 or 6 years ago I decided to specialize in vintage Mariano Fortuny pillows. At that time, there were only 3 or 4 other individuals (that I know of) who were devoted to vintage Fortuny textiles and especially pillows. (And I am so grateful to them for the information and help that they have provided me) Just one note: NEW FORTUNY FABRICS ARE NOT THE SAME AS THE VINTAGE FORTUNY textiles--the dyes are different, the type of cotton used in the past was different, the process is similar, but the depth and nuance of the coloration and stamping is just not the same.  I did have a learning curve--finding a fabricator and the supplier for just the right proportion of down to feather custom fillers has been a journey. I had to "eat" several pillows until I found Pam of Fine Details, Inc. who loves to work with top quality textiles and even helps me work out just the right backing and fabric placement for the pillows. Acquiring the vintage Fortuny is always an adventure and the price out seems to be going up every month. I love working with the Fortuny and silks and linens that I use for the backings. On very early Fortuny pieces, c. 1915-1930's, I sometimes trim the pillows in 19th or 18th century French metallic trim--it adds just a little more interest.

Lavender Fortuny Pillows & Alabaster Urns
6)     Who has been a mentor or has had influence on your own work in the design world?

I don't think that I have had any mentors--designers who inspire me? Plenty: No. 1 is John Saladino. I love his work as it is truly international in scope. Of course, Tony Duquette--a genius. The early 20th c. French designers. Bulgari jewels. Italian mid-century. And most of all the Giacometti Brothers ( I have a passion for beautiful forged iron).

Dorothy Draper Espana Tables

7)     Mary, what is the best way for our readers to reach you?

The best way to reach me is by email either directly through my website contact links at  or at --with Los  Angeles freeway congestion and my silly long commute--email is the best.

French Iron Finials

8)     Finally Mary, what advice would you give to someone starting out in your field of Antiques and Design?

My best advice to some starting out: read all that you can, go to museums, read auction catalogs, go to auctions decide what you are passionate about and most of all: Do Not Quit Your Day Job just yet. With the economic turmoil of the past few years, so many established and respected dealers have gone out of business and all of us have felt the effects to a greater or lesser degree. To survive in this business you have to be passionate about what you do--passion is the key to everything, isn't it?

Celenite Crystal Balls In Copper Pan

Thank you so much Mary and dear readers I would also encourage you to visit Mary's Blog "Jones and Cole" where she tells of her many adventures in the world of Antiques and Auctions. Many Before and After images which I know I love to see and you will too!

Watch for more exciting interviews to come as well as unique Giveaway!

Thank you so much for being here for me!
Your comments mean the world to both our guests and to me!

Art by Karena

Images and some text courtesy of MJH Design

The winner of "Paris Flea Market Style " is Anita of Castles Crowns and Cottages!


Loi Thai, Tone on Tone said...

Not only is Mary a fabulous antiques dealer (with a killer eye for spotting treasures), she is a talented and thoughtful writer! I love her blog and always enjoy each post. Thanks for featuring Mary here, Karena.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

AHHHHHHH! I WON! Oh, and this antique dealer does have a wonderful eye for goodies...HI LOI!

That purple chair is so lovely as is that sconce with the turquoise droplets!

My goodness, I am so thrilled about this giveaway win! Do you need my address? Anita

Simply LKJ said...

What beautiful finds. So glad you are back posting. I've missed you!! Hope to send a little "care" package your way this week. Been on my mind.

MJH DesignArts said...

Hi Karena--Thank you so much!! I am speechless. Sending tons and tons of love--hope that you have a fantastic Sunday. xoxo

The enchanted home said...

Great advice from a pro..I too love and am inspired by John Saladino and it looks like her vision from when she was 4 years old was right on the money..she clearly has a wonderful eye. Beautiful and interesting!

Teresa at Splendid Sass said...

The Fortuny pillows are SO gorgeous! I love the sculptures especially.
Thank you so much for sharing. Such a talented designer.
I will have to visit her blog!
Thank you for sharing.

DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French Bread & Family said...

Good Sunday morning, Karen!
Wow! What a wonderful beautiful and inspiring. I too love the sconce with the turquoise.
I will be heading over Mary's blog after my visit here.
I was so pleased to see you pop up on my sidebar. I thank you for keeping the ARTS alive in our blog world!
I hope that you are doing well.

Splendid Market said...

Love this insight. Those sconces with the blue crystals would be perfect in my family room, must go shopping on the site!

Lost in Provence said...

There is so much that is inspiring that I don't know where to start! But thank you for this post and many thanks to Mary for her phenomenal eye and heartfelt, grounded point of view.
With all of my Best from Arles,

French said...

I love this interview, Karena; hearing Mary's great inspirations, and love of antiques; there is no substitute for experience, and I love that Mary is out and about at auctions and blogs and websites; you get this mental catalogue going! I'm off to see her website~

Pigtown*Design said...

Mary is terrific! Great interview.

Taylor Greenwalt said...

Great interview...I'm going to have to check her blog out.

YONKS said...

Hi Karena,
Wonderful to see you and sorry I haven't popped in for a while, I have no excuse other than I have been a lazy sloth all winter :-)

I can relate to almost every answer shed gives in this article. such a wonderful eye for detail. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

I hope you have a long, wonderful summer ahead.
Much love and well done to Anita.

PURA VIDA said...

I love the purple Bergere chair!!

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Great interview..and I live 20 minutes from Duke! I loved reading the interview Karena...such a person with enormous talent...and I must say that I so love the American Sheraton Daybed!...Wonderful post!

CDS said...

What a collection of treasures!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good evening sweet Karena! Thank you for stopping by tonight! Yes, I hope this France party will be memorable as last year's was! Attend if you can. It should be wonderful, with all the bloggers involved as the main attraction!!!! Anita

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Hi Karena, Loved the interview with Mary and I am headed over to her blog.

Kelly @ JAX does design said...

Very interesting and informative interview. Mary is lucky that she discovered her passion at such a young age!

I love the bronze & turquoise sconce, and the Dorothy Draper table is such a nice design.

Stacy Curran said...

I wish I had discovered my love for design at a young age instead of going to law school! Great interview :)

Classic Prep Style and Home said...

Hi Karena, Thanks so much for stopping by! This was a very informative interview with great advice and beautiful antiques! I would love to have seen the beaded Chinoiserie lanterns she referred to - they sound amazing!

Burlap Luxe said...

Beautiful pièces my sweet friend, hope thèse days find you in good health.
Congrats to the beautiful Anita, know one better to have won, we all just adore Anita and her soulful postings :)

Karena, you always post such beauty over here inspiring the best in art and designs.

Lots of love and blessings to you my sweet friend.

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

Good morning, Karena. How are you feeling? I like this series, and Mary has a great eye. Thanks for the interview because I've aways wanted to learn more about antique textiles.

Awesome post!


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

KARENA!!!!!!!!! I am so thrilled that you decided to enter into the link party; at this point, I had not heard from you whether you wanted to participate, but here is what you do:

NEXT FRIDAY, MAY 17, I am posting ALL THE LINKS and the party runs for a week. Post on anything about France that you find SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE like art, fashion, ANYTHING. The point is to create a week-long post, visit the other blogs, make new contacts and just have fun. I am putting your name on my list that appears my current post and next week your name AND LINK will also appear.

Your name is going in for the give-away as well! MERCI! Anita

Paisley Curtain said...

As a person who loves antiques, I must say this is a great. I have just visited Mary's blog, as you say she sure has multi faceted talents.

Best wishes

The Magical Christmas Wreath Company said...

Dearest Karena, thank you so much for stopping by. I loved your interview with Mary, I am heading over to her blog right away :) The lavender Fortuny pillow and those Celenite Crystal Balls would be most welcome in my home, totally yummy! Sending huge London love.
Paul xxx

Linda Merrill said...

Thanks for your wonderful intro to Mary - she has a wonderful collection! I hope you have a lovely weekend!

toko baju muslim murah said...

I love this post because it is very very interesting.Thanks you very much for shearing this article

annechovie said...

Thank you for the great interview with Mary and for your sweet comments as well! Happy Mother's day! Sorry I've been so MIA lately - been swamped with work, etc. Thanks for entering my give-away. xo

Ideezine said...


Great interview lots of great advice too. Happy Mother's Day!


Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Karena,you always have the most beautiful and informative posts! I love learning about new people and things.

I hope you are feeling better.


Mary Ann at classic•casual•home said...

Such exquisite taste. Great questions and I loved her answers...very cool about the vintage Fortuny. I did not know that.

Sarah Greenman said...

Thank you for the introduction!!! xo

therelishedroost said...

Love all of these, totally great eye!

Miss Val's Creations said...

Great interview! I love browsing antique shops and Mary's looks wonderful. So full of treasures!!!

The Peak of Chic said...

Mary is incredibly knowledgeable. She always seems to know so much about, well, so much! She also has a great eye.

Renae Moore said...

What beautiful antiques...I love the bergere chair and the settee!
I hope spring is springing where you are!

'LUSH' said...

So happy to be introduced to another inspiring designer and blog!! Thank you!

aurora raby said...

Staffordshire greyhounds not Dalmatians!
They are cute aren't they.
Thanks for a great post.

marble flooring design said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
vicki archer said...

A wonderful interview... and Mary's taste and style is just beautiful... xv

discount bedroom furniture said...

This is one heck of a site and the best posts, I will bookmark you.

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