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Leite’s Loves…Wendy Costa’s Food Dress Tiles

For years my kitchen walls were in a perpetual state of ornamental limbo. Run-of-the-mill food-as-art wall hangings did nothing for me, and my wooden spoons, colander, and grater decorated my drying rack far too frequently to warrant a home on the wall. So, done in by indecision, I’d resisted hanging anything at all.

All that changed last fall when I received a gift of trivets designed by artist Wendy Costa. The whimsical ceramic tiles that now grace the space above my stove depict hand-drawn dresses fancifully fashioned from…produce. I’d never really considered asparagus to be glamorous until seeing Costa’s oddly elegant skirt of asparagus spears interspersed with the occasional lemon wedge peeking out. In another tile, pods and tendrils intertwine to create an ensemble fit for a ball, with the tile’s caption, “Late in the evening I danced with Mr. Moonlight in a sweet pea gown with leafy crown,” scrawled in Costa’s cursive. The “Delightful Strawberry and Lemon Verbena Summer Dress” tile is a sassy interplay of berries and leaves, complete with matching purse and slippers, intended to rouse one “To dance in the Garden.” And in “The Vegetarian Café,” a Cinderella-worthy gown of lettuce leaves envelopes a carrot-crowned dame escorted by a mustachioed gentleman donning an entire carrot as suit.

“I love to cook, I love fashion, and I love the 1930s through the 1950s,” says Costa, who finds artistic inspiration in music, art, vintage anything, and clearly, her garden. “And then I started thinking about being a little lady, wearing the garden out for tea.” Her full line of trivets, which are heatproof, foodsafe, and available in three sizes, includes nearly two dozen fashions—and each season seems to see a new addition to the collection. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what fashions spring brings.

Wendy Costa’s full line of trivets, featuring a plethora of produce, in varying sorts and sizes—including 4-inch ($16), 6-inch ($24), and 8-inch ($32)—is available at Wendy Costa Studio.