Settle down in the back there.
Now children, let's take out our pastel-coloured work books, sharpen our HB pencils and write down this equation:
+ Aesthetically Pleasing
- Traumatic Childhood Memories
Yes, considering that I had a pretty rotten time at school, it's quite amazing how fascinated I am by educational style. Whether it's re-appraising the outfits that my geography teachers used to wear (beards, tweed jackets and tank tops all seem to be strangely alluring right now), or adopting an Eighties 'preppie' look - there's no doubt that those formative years will always have an influence.
That's never more true than when I come across old school supplies or furniture. I love a blackboard or a wallmap, a primary school frieze or a vintage globe. I dream of modelling a room after a 1940's school gym - filled with leather mats, metal lockers and a sculptural wooden pommel-horse as a centrepiece.
Science labs are a particularly rich source of goodies. Beakers and test tubes, workbenches and lightboxes - all incredibly stylish, and when we get to the biology department, we find beauties like this:
I found this vintage educational model of an eye at in San Francisco. The handpainting on it is so gorgeous and the object itself so strangely fascinating, that it definitely transcends the classroom. It's a perfect example of the 'accidental art' that I'm always looking for. This is truly a curious (and glorious) eye.