Friday, July 3, 2015

Something Old / Something New

Dinnerware picked up at goodwill over the years resulted in an eclectic mix of colors and patterns coming together is a colorful splash when laid out over Tuscan table cloths from Williams Sonoma. This worked well and was worry free with the kids in their younger years, however ...

Moving into our new home, the kids and I thought with them getting older, an 'Adult' house - a place to relax, unwind, get our homework (and work) done in a non-stressful environment was where we wanted to live.

We dispensed with all things 'Kid-Like' such as playrooms (we wanted a war room for our gaming and software development activities), sippy cups and plastic dishes (GONE! we want something 'intentional') and yes, we know how to use the dishwasher and clean up after ourselves. So, as we look at dinnerware options for our new home we knew we wanted something MCM and yet FUN!

A few years ago, I had visited an estate sale in Marin and was looking for some oversize bowls to eat pasta out of (we had chipped/broken most of our existing large bowls) and picked up 3 Russel Wright American Modern dual lugged serving bowls thinking they were the same size as the now chipped or broken Italian knock-offs we had been using during the kids younger years. It was (of course!) Sunday, the prices were discounted and there was a table covered in Chartreuse and Black Chutney Brown dishes with weird shaped handles and shapes. I thought it would be FUN to have these around though they fit in with absolutely nothing we owned or I could even imagine ever owning since we were living in the country house and going for the Rustic, Shabby Chic look throughout.

I picked up the serving bowls and then selected about 20 pieces of mixed American Modern and Iroquois serving dishes, cereal bowls and a pitcher for the total price of $22.

I had no idea what I was buying but liked the colors and the shapes and thought we could use these for casual meals outside on the deck as we often dined Alfresco during the California summer months.

Now enlightened to the history of the uniquely shaped dinnerware, the kids and I decided we wanted to use American Modern dishes in our new house even if it meant washing them by hand because they aligned well with our value of 'FUN!'

Collectors Weekly starts out describing Wright's work by saying he produced the dinnerware with Steubenville Pottery Company of Ohio, was introduced in 1939 and had sold some 250 million pieces by the end of the 1950s. The original colors were Seafoam Blue, Coral, Chartreuse, Grey, White, and Bean Brown. A second set of colors included Cedar Green, Cantaloupe, Glacier Blue, and Black Chutney. Today the line is produced by Bauer Pottery of Los Angeles, for whom Wright designed after World War II.

We had a small mix of Black Chutney and Chartreuse bowls and serving dishes and started watching Ebay and Etsy for necessary additions so we could set a dinner table. During this time I also saw his Morgantown glasses that were color coordinated with his dinnerware ... if possible, I would try to get 8 of these as well though at the asking price of $23 a glass at I had to find some via another avenue.

Today, I found a Seafoam dinner plate, salad plate and a cereal bowl for $12 on Etsy. The seller was fairly local so shipping was $5 and 1 day later I received our first lovely blueish/green place setting for our new home. At about $5 a piece (delivered) I thought I had gotten a pretty good deal on dinnerware that typical goes for $7-12 for the small pieces and $10-18 for the dinner plate (PLUS Shipping) on EBay or Etsy. I have not seen many Russel Wright pieces on Craigslist and when I do they are usually at the premium Etsy / 1stDibs pricing levels. 

Interpur Flatware and Russel Wright American Modern Seafoam Place setting 
I'm liking what is happening and will continue my search for American Modern dinnerware, thinking a mix of the Chartreuse and Seafoam would look great with our table cloth!

1 comment: