Beauty in Small Moments: How to Set a Simple Summer Picnic, Wherever You Are

The picnic, if you ask me is the simple and nostalgic summer fun. From a design point of view, it’s easy: all you need is a cloth, maybe a few utensils or plates and something to eat (or drink). But wear it outside and lay out your laundry, and the experience – eating out on long languid nights (or afternoons or mornings) – is so much more special than eating at the kitchen table. Either way, everything tastes a little better too. And in the weird and distant times we live in, the picnic spirit – accessible but a little special and completely out there – looks like something we could all use right now.

For years, we’ve featured table setting tips from designers, traders, and manufacturers – for vacations and dinners and just because. But this summer, we thought, why not take the table outside and have picnics instead?

To get started, we turned to Daniela Jacobs, the New York-based designer and ceramicist behind ARC Objects, whose Instagram feed has captivated me for a while, filled with soft and thoughtful still lifes that incorporate her curvilinear ceramics and offer a glimpse into her life was divided between New York and Mallorca. She is interested, according to her site, in “the beauty of the little fleeting moments of everyday life” – evident in the way she captures picnics of all kinds.

First and foremost, she says, “the beauty of a picnic is its inherent simplicity.” Plus, a picnic doesn’t have to be outside. “I’ve always loved indoor and outdoor picnics,” she adds. “I think the indoor picnic started when I was little, and we had a picnic planned, but it started to rain so we decided to have one indoors on the floor. The concept still thrills me.

Here are some of his tips for picnicking indoors or outdoors, for a few friends or simply for a change of scenery.

Photograph by Daniela Jacobs.

Use the cloth for transport.

Portable Summer: Fishing on ARC Objects & # 8
Above: Portable Summer: Peaches on the Full Circle Plate of ARC Objects.

“Try to avoid using anything disposable,” Jacobs says. If your picnic is outside: “I like to wrap the cutlery in one of the cloth napkins and place them at the bottom of the bag or basket that I use to carry everything. That way a sharp knife won’t float. I use other cloth napkins and the sheet or piece of cloth that will be the picnic blanket to help safely transport anything that is brittle or fragile, such as glass cups or ceramic dishes. ceramic.

Use the right plates.

Do not use paper or plastic products. For the sake of the earth – and for the sake of wonder – use real ceramics and glassware. “Yes, I really use ARC plates at picnics!” Jacobs said.

Think about your containers.

Above: Following Jacobs’ clever example, all you need for a beautiful picnic is a rag, some real ceramic and glassware, and a few sprigs of green for brightness.

“Try to think creatively about what you will need at the picnic to avoid wasting or awkwardly scrambling when you get to your destination, in the case of an outdoor picnic. For example, container lids make great plates! Jar lids are perfect for olive pits. “

Build food into the design.

This doesn't mean that a picnic has to be a big production.  A slice of melon and a glass of cold juice are enough for a little moment of pleasure.
Above: That doesn’t mean a picnic has to be a big production. A slice of melon and a glass of cold juice are enough for a little moment of pleasure.

Whether it’s a glass of wine and cheese or a more complete meal, “leave as many finishing touches for the last minute to make things taste (and look) as fresh as possible” , Jacobs said. “For example, if you are using a fresh herb as a garnish, just bring a sprig of that herb and adorn the food with it when you get to wherever you go so it doesn’t wilt or disintegrate in the dish. the time the meal begins.If fruit is part of the meal, wait until you slice or open it until you are about to eat it.

Left whole on the fabric, it also adds a special feeling of summer softness.

For more airy summer still lifes, follow Jacobs on Instagram @arc_objects. And see more table ideas here:

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