Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Graniteware

While leafing through Country Sampler Magazine, I came across what they say will be the "Top Ten Collectibles for 2012." I enjoy reading all of the home decorating magazines out there, when I have time and a few of them are and always have been my absolute favorites, like Country Living and Romantic Homes. They are especially comforting on a cold January day since perusing the plant catalogs too much just makes me all the more anxious for spring while the gardens seem to convey that it's just to cold to plan for anything. Even the greenhouse, packed with plants all snuggly and warm, just doesn't want to be bothered so, back into the house I go, plop myself in a cozy, comfortable chair and start flipping through some magazines while sipping a nice cup of Earl Grey Tea infused with lavender blossoms.

Although I like to read these trend articles, I'm always a little disheartened since my home never quite seems to be what's in style, probably because I've been married almost 32 years and it's wayyyyy too late for me to start decorating all over again. Even when Peter and I were just starting out in married student housing at Purdue University (Go BIG 10!) in West Lafayette, Indiana, aside from wedding gifts, our cinder block apartment was largely decorated with furniture handed down to us from our parents and grandparents.

I can remember Peter's grandmother, Ruth Rinek, a.k.a. "Gammy" saying to me one time when she came to visit during our first or second year of marriage, "This furniture is very nice for you, now and it will also make good basement furniture when you have a bigger place down the road."  Hence, a lot farther down the road, we still live with much of that "basement furniture"...in my living room, kitchen and bedrooms.   Of course, we must remember that one woman's trash is another woman's treasure and I really like my furniture, much of which are very nice antiques.   And who, in their right mind, would throw out an antique cannonball bed or chests and rocking chairs that have been in the family for at least a coupleof generations?

However, today I feel vindicated because, for once, I find that I'm actually trendy!...at least according to Country Sampler Magazine. Why? Because I collect graniteware--one of my most favorite things to do aside from growing lavender, of course. Number 4 on their list of "Top Ten collectibles for 2012" is graniteware. Woohooooo!  I collect that and have a lot of it, too! Who'd have thought that finally, after all of these years, I have a collection of things that's trendy when it is supposed be trendy?!

I started collecting graniteware pieces back in the 1980's when I bought a big light blue and white spattered wash tub for only $12 at an auction while on vacation in Wisconsin. I was hooked and there was no turning back. Since then, I have covered my walls, shelves and counter tops with graniteware and love each piece for it's colorful character and rough beauty. Graniteware, sometimes called enamelware or spatterware, was first manufactured in Europe, beginning somewhere in the 19th Century.  By the early 20th Century, this utilitarian line of kitchen cookware and bath utensils was being manufactured here in the USA, largely in the Midwest. Graniteware comes in a rainbow of colors and patterns ranging from yellows, reds and floral patterns to the most common greys and of course, my favorite, light blue. I also found myself amassing white with blue trim pieces in all of it's many forms. I know...I just can't help myself but this stuff is just too pretty and tells the stories of many immigrants to our country as well as pioneers and settlers who made their way across the USA.  Graniteware is certainly a slice of Americana at it's best.

Just in case you are wondering what else Country Sampler Magazine is predicting to be highly collectible this year, here's the list:
1. Blue and White Canton China. Figures...I collect Blue Onion China (pictured) which, apparently, is not so popular this year.
2. Antique musical instruments.  If the piano that Peter and his sister, Amy, learned to play on when they were growing up counts, then I'm in for two trends!  It's also a hand-me-down from Pete's parents and Kevin took piano lessons on it when he was younger as well.
3. Wooden Spoons...NOPE! Not my thing.
4. Graniteware.
5. Majolica.  I have never been a fan of these earthenware pieces.  Maybe a little too earthy for me.
6. Cow Creamers.  Hmmmmmm...
7. Carpet Balls.  I have new ones bought in garden shops and gift shops.  They are great displayed out in the gardens.
8. Wallpaper Bandboxes
9. Silver Plate serving pieces and flatware.  Of course...I collect pewter.
10. Jig Dolls. Wooden dolls with hinges for joints so they can move like puppets.  I don't have one single Jig Doll in my house...anywhere.  I think that's a good thing.

So, that's it, 10 categories of highly collectible things... and not even a mention or nod toward lavender plants...go figure.  Well at least I have my graniteware.

What do you collect?  Anything on this list?  I'd love to hear from you.  Maybe we can make up our own "Top Ten Collectibles."


2 comments:

  1. Cyndie, I'd love to be sipping a nice cup of Earl Grey Tea infused with lavender blossoms! And you might recall that I love all of the blue & white china pieces in your garden & your home.

    I collect friends and dust bunnies. :)

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