30 Sep

Lot 4

Todays collection is a mixed bag. My stationery loving friend used to (maybe still does?) have a beautiful white California pottery displayed on a shelf in her dining room. It was (is?) gorgeous. This group is an ode her collection.

Way in the back is a cream colored, matte glaze, Bauer vase with handles. It’s most likely pre-1950 and in excellent condition. If this one doesn’t go on permanent loan to Mom, or isn’t sold, there’s a good chance it will sneak back into my collection. It’s an excellent example of Cal-Art pottery though, so it gets a chance for a new home at $40. ON LOAN

The next piece, clockwise, is a middle period, Bauer ringware coffee carafe. It is missing it’s stopper, has a repaired lip, and thin glaze from the factory. While it’s not practical for serving, and not as perfect a specimen as the vase, it has a great shape and would make a lovely accent somewhere, maybe with dried flowers, or a casual arrangement of sand dollars and driftwood. $9.

Front right is a single candlestick with a matte glaze — number 520 from the 1941 Bauer catalog. It’s another Cal-Art piece and I’ve seen it in many collections and on page 65 of the Tuchman book on Bauer. It has a chip along the top of one of it’s scallops. $6.

Front left is an unmarked cornucopia vase with a squirrel peeking over the edge. The glossy glaze is crazed and it has a small chip on the edge, but it’s still very usable and very cute. $8.

Lastly is a vertical cornucopia vase. The bottom is marked “80 USA” but is not Bauer. (Thank you Brenda Johnson-Escoto, author of “Breaking Bauer…Myths!” for helping to narrow down the identity of this vase.) I’m guessing from the linear petal pattern that it was made post 1950. It has cracks , discoloration, and crazed glaze. I’ll throw it in as a freebie with purchase to anyone who wants it, otherwise it goes out on the garage sale table.

Tomorrow will be an intermission for the next 12 x 12 challenge (yippee, fiber art on my blog!) and then the pottery will return with color!

29 Sep

Lot 3

I’m pretty sure you can’t do 40s and 50s without pink. There’s no getting around it.

I saw this sort-of-set at the Pasadena City College Swap Meet (Pasadena, CA being home to all things California Pottery) and couldn’t pass it up. The handles on the cups matched the handles on my ringware. I had no ringware plates, so this solved that dilemma. Add a few vintage tablecloths (they all have pink) and I was good to go. These were our “company’s coming” dishes for a few years, but now I have my Polish Pottery and something’s gotta give.

Of course, you wouldn’t HAVE to go all pink and retro. I actually think that this compliments the current leaf and swirl trend very, very well. I was re-reading my “Complete Collector’s Guide to Bauer Pottery” last night and am back to thinking that this IS the Monterey Moderne pattern after all. Seems they made two styles of cups.

The majority of this group is in good to excellent (though not mint) condition. The five tea cups are excellent. There are eight saucers (nice to have a backup or two in case of breakage), 23 bread and butter plates (6.25″ dia.), seven pink luncheon plates (9.25″ dia.) plus one lone burgundy one, nine dinner plates (10.5″ dia.), two gravy boats in excellent condition, and one P pepper shaker with a chip on top. I seem to have lost the S shaker, unless it’s hiding in the missing box (in which case, I guess it’s still lost). The plates are mostly in good condition with a few excellent, and unfortunately one with clouding, and one with a crack. I am willing to sell everything you see here for $100 plus shipping since that’s essentially how I bought it. Because there are so many bread and butter plates I am also willing to entertain splitting the lot up, like say, 12 bread and butter plates plus the burgundy luncheon plate and gravy boat for one buyer and the rest to another.


Tomorrow will be another monochromatic day.

28 Sep

Lot 2

Nope, this isn’t quite the same as yesterday’s set, but it rocks the mid-century modern just the same.


But wait, it’s great with a romantic contemporary look as well.

The cup and saucer are Bauer (marked on the bottom). I used to think they were the Moneterey Moderne pattern (based on the saucer and colors), but according to this book, the cup handle and shape are more like El Chico or Al Fresco. Either way, They hail from the 1948 to 1962 era and are in excellent condition. The same goes for the bowl (5″ diameter), which is also Bauer and presumably part of the same line as the color is a perfect match. The vase, I’m not so sure about as it is unmarked. It may not be Bauer, although it is most definitely a contemporary. It is 6″ tall and unfortunately has a repaired petal and a quarter inch chip on one tip, as well as a tiny chip on two other tips. That doesn’t keep it from being an adorable accent though.

I also have these two Bauer Gloss Pastel batter bowls produced between 1939 and 1959. Before Mr. incredible hyperventilates, I’m not going to sell the both of them. The olive one has a chip on the lip, so we’ll keep that one, but the chartreuse is in excellent condition, so for the sake of a smaller overall collection, I’m willing to sell it. I also think that this one might work well on permanent loan to the Mom Collection of Things That Display Well in a Craftsman House (hint, hint).

I like these pieces together, so I’d be willing to sell them as a set if Mom doesn’t lay claim to the batter bowl.

I’d like $12 for the cup and saucer, $6 for the small bowl, and $40 for the batter bowl. I’ll throw in the vase as a freebie with any purchase. I forgot to say yesterday, that if anyone is interested in any of the pottery I post here, either leave a comment that you’re interested and we’ll continue the conversation off-line, or email me at me(at)kristinlaflamme(dot)com.

Tomorrow will look familiar, but in another color…

27 Sep

Lot 1

Even before Gerrie (who I know loves mid-century modern) commented excitedly about my wares, I had planned on showing this set first.

It is much more mid-century modern than the rest of my collection, which has a more WWII look. Every time I look at this fabric, I think Gerrie, and look how nicely the cup coordinates!

I guess you could call this a luncheon set, or maybe a tea set with the addition of a teapot or coffee carafe which I don’t have. The manufacturer is Franciscan. They are well known for their “Dessert Rose” pattern, and highly respected as far as collectible California pottery is concerned. This pattern is “Tiempo,” which was first released as “Metropolitan” and commissioned by MoMA in 1939. The pattern was renamed Tiempo with the same shapes but different colors in 1949.

What I’ve got is a large rectangular platter (8″ x 12″) in Sprout green, a rectangular divided “bowl” (6.5″ x 10.5″) in Leaf green, four Sprout plates (not quite 8″), four Leaf bowls (4.5″ x 2″ deep), two Leaf saucers (6″) two Copper saucers, two Leaf tea cups and two Sprout teacups. Everything is in excellent condition. I want to keep this set together as I believe it has more value as such. Based on some internet research at antique sites and eBay, I’m asking $200 plus shipping for this gorgeous collection that embodies California mid-century modern entertaining.

Tomorrow’s offering will bridge my beloved 40s look with this sleeker aesthetic.

27 Sep

It Was Grama Bi’s Fault


You often find the most interesting things at airports. When we connected Frankfurt and Honolulu, this is what we found (besides SIL Betsy) at SFO. A wonderful exhibit of California pottery from the 40s. I adore this stuff, so I walked slowly and took it all in.

Chapter One

My Grama Bi had the cutest little 1910-ish house in Los Angeles, with pink and black tiles in the bathroom and curved cabinets in the kitchen. When I got my first apartment, she gave me a set of nesting bowls that embodied the feel of some of my favorite things about her house.

These were made by the Bauer company in the 40s to the 60s. I fell in love with the chunky, practical, honesty of Bauer’s cheerful pottery, which by the way, was on the verge of being a hot collectible (so hot in fact that they, and Fiesta, have reissued many designs in the last decade). When we found out we’d be returning to Germany after Mr. Incredible’s short assignment in Arizona, I decided that it would be better to put my collection in storage — knowing that our European housing would most likely be small with few cabinets.

Chapter Two

I spent the better part of yesterday unpacking boxes and reuniting with my treasures. Oddly, although I accounted for all the packer-labeled boxes on the mover’s inventory list, one box of pottery I packed, which may or may not have been inside another box, has disappeared. I’m really hoping that I somehow overlooked it and it will show up when I move some stuff in the garage or something. It had my favorite Aladdin teapot inside. Anyway, the above picture is what I’ve decided to keep. I focused my collection around Grama Bi’s bowls (in the back with some other pieces from the “Gloss Pastel” line) and the “Ringware” stacking refrigerator set (behind the aqua group) that my dad gave Mr. Incredible and I for our wedding. Of course, anything cobalt had to stay — my house is basically blue.

That leaves me with about the same amount of pottery in other colors or by other manufacturers, but all in good to excellent condition, all from the 40s to the 60s, all collectible. My plan is to put it up on Ebay, but I’m going to post it here first. Mostly because it’s purdy and I want to share, but on the off chance any readers are also fans of this gorgeous stuff, I’d love to give you guys first crack at it. I’ll try to post one “lot” per day, but don’t hold me to it.

25 Sep

I Hit a Wall

Remember the mess that was my studio/guest room? I did manage to clean it up enough to bring in a mattress for my mom to sleep on when she was here. Plus, she helped me organize it even more. My original plan was to put some shelves and storage on the walls, but even with a stud finder, we found no studs. I’m not sure how a house can be build without studs, but everywhere I’ve nailed or drilled, it’s always been just drywall — even if the stud finder, or rapping on the wall, suggests that one area might be more solid than the others, it’s not. So, I put artwork on the walls and some drawers re-purposed as display shelves, but nothing too heavy. However, behold the clean floor and usable ironing board in the background! Perhaps I will post more another day when the sewing area to the left is more resolved. I do need to show off the wall crammed with more mushrooms, art and inspiration.

I had originally planned (medium to long range) to buy a new sofa for the living room (leather!) and move our IKEA Ektorp sofa-bed up here. We got our last delivery of stuff (the things that had been in storage for the last eight years) and that has changed my plan. I’ll share our “big furniture” another day when it’s not surrounded by boxes, but trust me, it’s BIG! I think it grew in the warm darkness of the Arizona warehouse.  Needless to say, it dominates our living room and the addition of a dark leather couch would only worsen the effect. Now I’ve pretty much decided, for my sake, and the sake of future movers, to get one of those fold out foam bed/lounger/teen sofa things. Maybe I’ll get an ugly one at a box store and make a slipcover out of something cool and polka dotty.

What I really wanted to say though, was that with the much anticipated arrival of the big furniture, our washer and dryer, and more boxes, I’ve hit a wall when it comes to this moving process. I thought I’d be elated at having everything back together again. Instead, I am on the verge of tears because I now have more things to unpack and deal with. I guess my subconscious thought we were done. The big furniture, which was awesome 15 years ago when I was a graphic designer and really needed the flat files in it, and when we didn’t know how nomadic we’d become, is now a giant monument to immobility. I look at it and want it to disappear.  In fact, I’d like the moving fairies to come and finish off all my house projects: empty and remove the boxes; find places for everything that we love and use; make everything else disappear; make it all magically look wonderful.

Luckily, cherful things are happening too. Deborah sent us a sweet housewarming gift of a book for the kids we had been talking about, and a piece of art for my walls. She thought it would go in my studio, but I think it will be perfect in my blue bedroom. (Terry‘s bird is there too, as are Sandra‘s vikings.)

It’s entitled “House Upon a Rock.” (See the actual little rock sewn on?) Deborah says it developed unexpectedly, but is appropriate for my new home on a big hunk of lava, and also because it is so important for military families to be built on a strong foundation. So true Deborah! I will frame it soon and get it up on the wall where it belongs.

22 Sep


Instead of going to the beach this weekend, I decided we should try something else Hawaiian.

A hike to a waterfall was in order, so off we went into the woods, and over Maunawili stream (three or four times).

We tried (not always successfully) not to trip on all the tangled roots along the trail.

We followed these guys who looked like they were ready for a swim.

They beat us to the Falls and were already jumping, not only off the eight foot rock to the left of the falls, but off a ledge 20 feet up and to the right, just out of the picture.

An hour later the small pool was filled and the jumps became flips and gainers. That’s Zavi and I next in line above the splash. We did two jumps together and Katja and I did one. I was proud of the kids’ bravery until Zavi reminded me that he had jumped off the three meter diving board in swim club many times over the last year. They were still thrilled enough to want to do this every weekend though.

19 Sep

I’m Not Dead Yet

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything remotely resembling a deep thought here. Moving will do that to you. It’s all about being in the present: problem solving and finding the pan you need to cook dinner, getting legal liscence plates and phone service ASAP, finding out which streets go from one neighborhood to the other and which ones get you hopelessly lost.

In all of this preparation for the move, the move itself, the rebuilding here, being separated from my husband and partner in crime (geographically, not legally), finding a new routine, knowing what’s looming on the horizon (deployment), I’ve shoved my artwork into the back seat.

I’ve been thinking about the missed deadlines and opportunities. The Calls for Entry that I’ve been ignoring. The things I could be doing to promote myself. I actually felt like I was on the verge of something a year or two ago. I had a show. I was excited about a new body of work. I built a website and had a bit of a blog following. I had a few pieces published in magazines. I could easily have leveraged that and submitted to more shows. Submitted proposals to magazines and books. Taken steps to grow the blog. But I didn’t. And I’m not going to.

Robin blogged recently about being an artist or a mom and how the timing just didn’t seem right just now. I know completely how she feels. I’m not a totally plugged-in mom, but I do feel I have a certain responsibility to my kids right now. Family takes priority. We have other things to worry about than my art career.

I’m not seeing this as a one or the other decision though. Sure, I’m missing opportunities and momentum now, but they can (and will) come around again. Not the same ones, but new ones, right for that time. I’m still an artist, and some day I might be able to be one in more than just my own mind. But for now, I’m going to do what feels right. I still crave the connection and validation I get through blogging, and I certainly can’t stop making things. I’m just not going to let myself feel guilty for not doing everything I could to promote myself as an artist or for passing up good opportunities. That can come later.

For now, there may be more posts about shave ice and family activities. It’s what I’m excited about today.