At the turn of the last century, the potteries along the Ohio River were working overtime to fulfill rapidly increasing orders – bricks for streets, clay products for drainage, durable toilet wares, and dinnerware. American potteries had developed new production methods and, importantly for consumers, the china produced was equal to the wares produced in England. There was a celebratory air in the potteries as described by editors in business journals.
Classic, curvy, heavy and durable coffee mug. The kind used in the local diner for years. From that less than glamorous beginning, mugs like these have become icons of the past. They were made to endure over time – in short, they don’t make them like this anymore.
– The lines were hand drawn – no two mugs are the same.
– Not poured into a mold, hand-fashioned on a wheel
– Vitrified by high temps, fired at 2200 degrees, the glaze fuses with the clay to form glass – resistant to stains, safe for the dishwasher.
– Because of the weight and thickness, this mug will keep your hot beverage warm for just a bit longer.
This beauty was produced by Sterling China Wellsville Ohio in the 1930s; the stamp is very early.
The classic white coffee mug was produced by Hall China in East Liverpool, Ohio, circa 1925
Both mugs weigh nearly 1.25 pounds
Available at http://etsy.me/2f9xlKg
If there is one pattern that defines restaurant ware then perhaps, a green crest border would find a place in the top three patterns. But still, it is not easy to find in quantity these days. But sometimes, a tall stack of these old diner dishes appears in a dusty old basement or the back room of a restaurant. Like these. . . . stacks and stacks of plates.
Is there a better way to add bright beautiful color to a corner or a sofa or a bed then with a colorful handwoven textiles? From hand crocheted afghans to hand woven Saltillo blankets – it seems like their color and beautiful details add so much to any environment. Especially since no two pieces are exactly alike.
In the winter or a chilly night in any season, a pile of blankets is comforting. On one of those nights, when hibernating seems like part of the natural rhythm of life . . . grab an afghan or a blanket, pick up that book or maybe even, watch the final season of Downton Abbey.
This picnic basket is supported with an oak frame and split oak base; double-wooden handle and brass tacks and hinges. The woven wicker top is supported by fiber board. Notice the diamond accent also woven in wicker. This basket is a real beauty.
Call it what you will . . . Retro Diner, Restaurant China or Restaurant Ware. To my eye, these plates look fresh and modern. Black is back but did it ever fade away?
The scalloped edge brings a cottage in the country feel. The bold black thick border looks clean and contemporary. Add to a collection or start a collection with these pieces. They will be with you a long, long time.
Adding a few photographs so that you can see them all together and on their own.
Hard to choose a favorite when I favor them all . . .
“Let’s have a picnic.” Yes! Gather the supplies and pack the food. The adventure really begins once we are all in the car. We must find the “perfect” picnic spot. At first, we pass places that are not shady enough, parks with too many people or for one reason or other they are “not quite right.” As time passes and the sun wanes, boredom sets in and hunger prevails, not-so-perfect picnic spots look so much better – even you might say, perfect.
My favorite book describing the hunt for a perfect picnic spot is “The Bears Picnic” by the Berenstain Brothers. Even though it has been a long long time since I have read it to a child, whenever I think about picnics, I think about the bears’ picnic. I enjoyed reading another take on this book at Write Run Repeat. The perfect spot, of course, is very close – no need to travel at all – a backyard picnic is a joyful idea.
I often wonder about the new homes for the vintage treasures that we send. Taryn paired a 1950s mirrored filigree vanity tray with painted ball jars and then added a glass knob. . . . what a great new look for a vintage tray.
All that is needed to understand the beauty of ergonomics is to hold the salt and pepper shakers designed by Russel Wright for Steubenville in your hands . . . to hold them is to love them. They fit the hand so perfectly.
And we would like to give you that opportunity. We are giving away this set of chartreuse Russel Wright Salt and Pepper Shakers.
The ink was barely dry on his master’s thesis when John Gilkes accepted the position of Lead Designer for the Taylor, Smith Taylor Pottery. Gilkes, under the tutelage of Arthur E. Baggs, the renown potter and professor of ceramics at Ohio State University, researched production techniques for new dinnerware shapes. Innovation was paramount to the potteries that had enjoyed success along the banks of the Ohio River. Especially in light of the heightened competition from the Asian marketplaces and the new attraction of plastics to homemakers.
Warwick China Company enjoyed a long history – over sixty years producing decorative pieces, fine dinnerware and finally, vitrified china. According to their catalog ca. 1940s, they produced “Vitrified China for Hotels, Clubs, Restaurants, Institutions, Steamships, Railroads, and Hospitals.” No doubt, their entry into china production for commercial accounts was one way in which the Warwick China Company hoped to keep the kilns firing and so many residents of Wheeling employed. After all, Wheeling was one of the great manufacturing centers in the nineteenth century. Sadly, this manufacturer closed in doors in 1951.
Warwick had produced some of the most beautiful china – highly decorated and complex pieces. They were one of the few American potteries to attempt the manufacture of flow blue. Their expertise was well known in the pottery world. Wheeling of course possessed all of the natural assets necessary to produce, market and ship wares. The chamber of commerce of Wheeling announced that Wheeling was at the crossroads for manufacturing and shipping. Most American pottery was manufactured in the Ohio Valley along the mighty Ohio River. And as a consequence, Wheeling certainly played an important part in the history of Ohio River Pottery.
The dinnerware designed by Russel Wright is included in the rather broad [and vague] category, Mid Century Modern. Russel Wright designed the new line of American Modern Dinnerware in the 1930s. His designs were, in part, a reaction to the formality of the late Victorian dinner table. Many courses served with service changes that required “help” in the kitchen. A way of living, that was certainly at odds in the 1930s when many could no longer afford imported fancy serve ware or a household staff to serve. His stated intent was to bring design to everyone – American Modern would become the best selling dinnerware in American history.
His design took another turn; the post modernist turn. He looked to the form and function of each piece, first, and then applied glazes that reflected the natural world. You might even say, he used organic shapes and colors that soothed a generation in an era of unsettling news – economic downturns, political unease and total war on a global scale. As much as his design fascinates, his later avocation to restore land that included abandoned quarries near the Hudson River inspires me. I plan to visit . .
The first piece of Russel Wright that I found was in a box in an abandoned trailer. Although I didn’t know who made the piece, I was captivated by the color and shape. I soon discovered the pitcher was manufactured by Iroquois China and designed by Russel Wright. The pitcher is definitive of Wright’s design – curves that do not end. There are no hard edges. Truly wonderful to hold and behold. And the color . . . drawn from the forest at sunset.