Saturday, December 19, 2009
Many of the same dishes from BEFORE but stacked again in a different way to create a different "painting."
If you're still reading then you may possibly be interested in how and why I acquired all this vintage Pyrex from the 1950s-1970s.
COLLECTING VINTAGE PYREX
It all started a few years ago when I was helping my parents clean out their garage and I came across my Mom's old Pyrex pieces that she was saving and hoping to give to me and my sisters. Aah... the nostalgia and memories of using the dishes from when I was a kid. It brought me back to a different time in my life, perhaps when things were simpler.
The designs from that era are fun and kind of whimsical, relative to the seriousness and "sophistication" of the stuff that's out there at the Williams-Sonomas and Sur La Tables of the world. Not that I don't lust after the cool stuff in those shops, but I really was craving something different that I don't see in those shops. Everything is so neutral or Tuscany or French Country or contemporary sans soul - it's all nice but ubiquitous which = not exciting me. Yes, I have a lot of neutral stuff in my cupboards but that is why I need vintage Pyrex... to add some "pop" as they say (whoever THEY are).
In general I am drawn to the designs and patterns from the 50s, 60s and 70s (like Marimekko) and my current favorite textile and housewares designers (like Orla Kiely) are also inspired by the designs of that time as well. You may have noticed some Marimekko and Orla Kiely items in my other photos. Isn't retro "in" right now?
If you're still reading because you're wondering why on earth I would be interested in such tacky old junk... well I would love to convince you that these pieces can be combined nicely as accent pieces with more contemporary or classic or neutral pieces. There are some fun designs that are fun to bring to potlucks and when they stand out on the table I get questions about where the dish comes from.
After taking home the pieces from my Mom's garage collection I fell in love as I was hand washing them. Soon after I found myself at garage sales and on eBay looking for good deals on barely used vintage Pyrex. I also found a Flicker group called Pyrex Love where I found vintage Pyrex collector soul mates, which of course spurred my desire to collect more pieces than I can actually use. I've even swapped dishes with of few of my mates across the country, putting a big ding on carbon footprint score (yikes!).
RE-USING OLD STUFF IS GOOD FOR THE PLANET, RIGHT?
How did I justify this? Because I was RE-USING them, an environmentalist's/conservationist's excuse to collect... I saved them from going into landfills... I'm lowering my carbon footprint? Plus I was saving money by not buying the fancy new stuff and the fancy shops. I really do use them a lot and in fact I started a Flickr group called Pyrex in Action for photos where people are actually USING their vintage Pyrex. My friends and I had a potluck retro themed dinner party for our friend's birthday who was born in the mid-century era - we brought dishes in our vintage Pyrex and it was a blast.
DURABLE AND PRACTICAL
They really are so practical to use - the vintage Pyrex are the hardest working pieces in my kitchen. They're excellent for baking and they're fun to use as prep bowls. The only small issue is that because they the dishes are 40-50 years old, I have to hand wash them to maintain the bright colors and patterns. But it's worth it! :-)