I do appreciate a nice tea towel… and I’m fussy with mine. Perhaps it relates to my textile obsession. Nonetheless, I like them to be made of good quality linen, aesthetically pleasing… and generally I find, the more use they get, the better they look. Now, because of this ‘pseudo fetish’, much to my husband’s amusement, and at times sheer frustration, I am always scouring the shops for tea towels.
Recently looking out of the car window at the lovely window shop display, waiting for the traffic lights to change…
Me in passenger seat: ‘Wow, is that…are they…my goodness I think they are tea towels!’
Husband in driver seat: ‘No, no darling, that’s just a painting…’
Me: ‘No husband, I really don’t think so… they look like linen… I’m sure they are tea towels. Yes, yes they ARE tea towels! Quick…STOP! I’ll be really quick!’
Husband rolls eyes and pulls over. And that was how I came to acquire 3 tea towels from Third Drawer Down.
This Australian company produces the most magnificent linen tea towels, so gorgeous, so whimsical and artistic that upon unpacking them later I decided that I could not bear to relegate them to mere dish washing status. They were, just as my husband had said ‘works of art’. So, I had them stretched over a wooden canvas and hung them on my kitchen walls (and duly thanked my husband for being so clever, forever igniting my creative fires).
Third Drawer Down reproduces artwork by contemporary Australian and International artists as limited edition screen prints onto 100% finest quality materials including tea towels, pillowcases, aprons and art-kerchiefs. Inspired by the ’60s pop art movement, Third Drawer Down believes that by placing art into domestic environments it creates an accessibility that may not exist with traditionally elite and often highly priced works of art. Each item is gorgeously packaged in an archival envelope with details of the artist’s provenance and the Third Drawer Down project. Not an expensive tea towel but — an affordable piece of art!! Creating art that’s accessible, functional, and affordable is in my opinion, pure genius!
Interestingly, the name ‘third drawer down’ refers to a statistic stating that 80 percent of households in the Southern Hemisphere keep their tea towels in the third drawer down! I must be in the minority then as I keep mine in a top drawer. So special, they are.
ps. the fabulous piece above is by famed Aussie artist David Bromley.