Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Collecting White Ironstone Pottery; New Class-Learn To Paint Furniture May 7th

I have set up a new class here at Windmill Farm.  It will be a basic Learn to Paint a Piece of Furniture-using chalk paint.  People can bring any relatively smaller item they wish to try their hand at painting it.  My classes are meant to take the fear out of trying new things whether it is baking, canning, knitting, upholstery, sewing-I try and either bring in experts to teach people or if it is a skill I know, I teach the class.  Wonderful thing about chalk paint is it works on just about anything-metal, wood, plastic, even produce!!  Remember I painted pumpkins last October?
Class is May 7, 2014 6-8:30pm.  Due to the high cost of supplies, class will cost $35.  Please call me if you would like to attend.
When I was looking for my photos of the table I painted using chalk paint, I saw the one picture of my finished cabinet I also painted for the dining room.  I have a few Ironstone platters hung above the cabinet.  It reminded me of how much I love Ironstone and how I have had a love affair with it for over 40 years.
When I first started collecting Ironstone, it was in Nevada County and at that time, every yard sale or estate sale had more than one piece of Ironstone.  Every household had pieces given to them from a relative or found in a basement, or used as a cat food bowl; it wasn't considered a high quality, expensive item, like china.  I routinely would have platters or plates soaking in my sink over night with water and bleach which was an excellent way to take out stains on them.  Once you start collecting, your eye automatically goes to any piece you see and it isn't long before you have soup tureens, bowls, platters and more platters of all shapes and sizes; dishes; chamber pots; sugar bowls; cups and pitchers.  My very favorites are rectangle shaped platters.  They may have scalloped edging; deep dished; even some have patterns on them.  From Ironstone platters I went on to collect brown transferware on platters.
As with all collections, it is especially fun in the beginning; you buy everything whether chipped or stained or if you already have 5-6 of the same things.  Then you become more selective, learn more about the markings on the bottom of items; know which ones are older and better than the rest.  But then, because it always happens, the items you love become what everyone else loves, too, raising the prices from less than a $1 to being moving towards $30-$50.  And with the case with me, called Murphy's Law, that may be the time I think I might sell off a few pieces so I can get some of my money back to start another collection.  But darn, it is about the same time everyone else is thinking the same thing and prices tank.  Or the other event that happens that changes collection values-Martha Stewart or someone else starts to reproduce the item you are collecting so well, it becomes difficult to tell old from new, so people stop buying them all together.  We all
like our collections to be unique!
So over this 40 years, I have bought some, sold some, broken some, lost some, stopped looking; looking for something different, like McCoy pottery.  But I still love the rectangle platter and have put the few I have left out to enjoy every time we use the dining room or when I walk past it. What are your collections?  Do you like Ironstone too?  Love to hear about them. 

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