Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Passion of Pottery


Bird of Paradise, Eldreth Pottery, 2004
My travels to Westerwald Pottery in Scenery Hill, Pa. are always productive. My original reason for the most recent visit was to see if I could replace a broken lid from one of the large canister jars in the red/cranberry paint. When I purchased the last pieces in that design and style the owner told me they were having problems with that paint separating during the firing process. It is the only non-organic dye that he uses and imported it from Germany. They discontinued using it because of the problems. Then I show up with the lid!  Always helpful, He trudged to one of the outbuildings where he keeps misfires, odd pieces etc. Lo and behold after scooting off two snakes and a mouse He found a lid. It had the typical flaw that this glaze produced but it was fine for my purposes. I call it "character!" He said I could have it free as well. Best bargain of the day.
back decoration of the Bird of Paradise jar

Now just so you know, the two large pieces were found by the Mr., not me. This reproduction jug, the design mostly likely used for water, is a large piece. It is also a heavy one. Toting this thing around full of water would have negated the need for the gym and Nautilus machines for the lady of the house. 14 inches in height and 8 inches wide makes it a hefty piece.
I ended up putting it on a high shelf in the kitchen, sitting on the table it had bump me written all over it! Antique hand-crank butter churn on the right. I move stuff around quite a bit.
Sunflower Pitcher, same potter, Eldreth, 2010.
Here's the thing when you collect large pieces like this, where do you put them? I want them visible because they are works of art to me but they need to be in a safe-ish place. The pitcher is on the drop leaf English antique table in the living room right now. Sometimes I get the urge to have dinner in a different place and this table folds out to comfortably seat 4 to 6 people. If I open only half Mr. and I have a different view of our world. (please note knitting in basket on the right, it seems there is a project everywhere I look!) The pitcher (another favorite collectable shape) is a little smaller 11 inches high and approximately 7 inches across. It is heavy as well but not like the jug!

Someday I will remove the china closet in the dining room and have custom cupboards and shelving installed to hold the collection. Mr. groans. Alot.
  • The history of pottery styles has always fascinated me. They were the Tupperware of their day.
  •  Supporting local craftsmen is also important to me. In our world of disposable everything the artists struggle to find their niche. We cannot let the skill of these amazing people be lost.
  • I have some new little pieces as well, functional items. I use my pottery.
The current table centerpiece. A jam jar and small pitcher in the traditional Westerwald Feather design as well as a small jug originally intended to be a liquid soap dispenser. Lose the plastic pump and insert a couple flowers. (no flowers yet) The Lazy Susan is the same IKEA one painted black. The candlesticks are older, the place mats came from Country Charm in Farmingon, Pa.

The Jam Jar

The mini-jug.

The small pitcher
  •  I probably should have been born in another century, then again, maybe I was.
  •  The straw trivets you see in the dining room and on the kitchen table were purchased in 1970 at a place called "The Damage Store" in Omaha, Nebraska. I have no idea if it is still there but we paid 50 cents each for them at the time. Use them everyday. They even hand wash with a little dish washing liquid and water. 
  • The smaller pieces are used every day. Because they are very affordable, if there is an accident my heart does not stop. 
  • The other ones....keep that defibrillator handy please!  Toodles.
Now back to this century, the link will take you to U Tube video that has a funny take on Mothers 'tweeting' their children. It's a good one.   Late Night Hashtags with Jimmy Fallon 

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