Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Goodies in the Mail: Vintage Pottery

We loooooves us some stuff in the mail. Boxes on the doorstep? Absolutely.  In August I found the perfect thing for the middle of my living room coffee table. A Frankoma bowl, oval in shape, which mimicked the shape of the coffee table, and in green and brown, which are my colors. You learn in time, my pretties, how much I like green. It's a sickness, it is.

Is there any better sight, O fellow mail order shoppers?

Cue a few refrains of Julie Andrews singing "brown paper packages tied up with string...."

The great thing about this kind of stuff is that it's so readily available. Pottery was manufactured through the mid-century in great quantities by companies which produced affordable, mass manufactured goods. For those of us used to that meaning imported, poor-quality disposable goods, these things aren't the kind of junk we buy today in our local Stuff Mart. These were well-designed and often made to last. In the case of Frankoma, it was designed by John Frank, a 1927 Chicago Art Institute graduate who believed everyone should be able to afford a little bit of art for their home. That was a sound philosophy during the Great Depression, when he launched his pottery business, and still a good one today.

What it means for us today is good bargains. Frankoma and other mid-century pottery can be found in small town antique shops, flea markets and yard sales, a lot of it for under $25. For me, it was an affordable, fun solution for my coffee table, the very same 1960s Colonial Revival coffee table that split my eyebrow open when I was 4 years old. I like to point at it commandingly and say "I now OWN you, coffee table." It makes me feel better about the four stitches. A little.

Objects are greener than they appear. Or maybe I could just learn not to overexpose photos.

In the background you will see a VERY green 1970s era credenza/buffet piece that was priced right because the color was so wrong, but that's a story for another day. And the brown leather couch. And the aforementioned evil coffee table. These days, the Frankoma piece holds the remotes, the head of a Lego man, and the candy wrappers the boys are too lazy to get up and throw away. I suppose I should find something decorative and seasonal to put in it, there's a good girl, but really, boys live here. If I put pine cones in the thing, they'd fling them about the room. I'm lucky enough they aren't flinging the pottery about the room.

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