Parisian ceramicist Cécile Daladier throws four parties every year: one per season, and each with its own theme. In March of this year, Daladier, her partner Nicolas Soulier, and their friend Lucile Demory found themselves shucking 350 oysters and pouring white wine for their "White and Mother of Pearl" dinner party.
Daladier felt the theme was nicely aligned with her ceramics, so she designed pieces just for the event (the parties are an understated way for her to showcase new work and connect with old and new friends). First, she molded oyster shells in clay and glazed them in an opaque white. Then, drawing inspiration from rustic cheese boards, Daladier designed flat slab ceramics for her homemade loaves of bread. Her son knows a fisherman in Normandy, and a friend drove from Paris to fetch several bushels of oysters the day of the party. Daladier, Soulier, and Demory shucked the oysters, finishing the task moments before the guests arrived. As Demory says, "You can't open them too early, otherwise they'll dry out so it's a lot of last minute work." In addition to the oysters, the menu included white and opalescent fare: brie cheese, white wine, yogurt ice cream, and rice pudding.
If you're like us, and dream of recreating this look, see how Daladier threw the party together and some of the key sources below. For more of her work, see Flower Arranging a la Parisienne and her rooftop garden from A Ceramicist and Architect in Paris.
Above: The table setting before the party; photographs via Daladier's Journal.
Above: Source a gigantic round of brie-style soft cheese to keep hungry guests at bay.
Above: Demory and Daladier pulled in a large table on wheels from the studio: "We just added pieces of wood all around it to make the edges higher. Then we stapled a big plastic sheet to the wood to keep the ice from running when it would melt," Demory says.
Above: A dormant fern, called a Selaginella lepidophylla (or Jericho flower), unfurls in a white dish on the ice-covered table. Source an individual Jericho Flower from Amazon for $7.18.
Above: Demory notes, "The great thing about oysters is that you don't need a plate, just a little fork, so no dishes involved."
Above: Ceramics are molded from beach shells, then coated in a high-gloss, white glaze.
Above: Daladier's matte-glazed bread boards have a rustic, sea-shell like appeal.
Above: Oysters in tow from Normandy.
Above: Daladier's oyster-inspired serving dishes.
Above: Ikea's Bollo Folding Table is made of oiled acacia wood for $49.99.
Above: Cover any basic table or plane of wood laid on a table and cover it with parchment paper, wax paper, or plastic wrap and be sure to double-up; Double Roll Parchment Paper is $5.95 from Sur La Table.
Above: Ikea's Salvka Red Wine Glass is a quick fix for an impromptu party, priced at $4.99 for a pack of six.
Above: Source Antique Silver from Etsy, like this Set of 4 Fiddle Pattern Forks from Sheffield for £30 from Zofi Vintage on Etsy.
Above: The Centro Carafe is slightly slate grey in color and is currently on sale (as part of this week's dining sale on the site) for $25.50 from Design Within Reach.
Above: The Mechanical Polder 11-Pound Stainless-Steel Kitchen Scale is $37.49 from Amazon.
Above: Daladier's ceramics are priced €100 per kilo via Cécile Daladier.