Posts Tagged ‘Housewares’

The Joy of Dishes

As I was looking at my newest and most (currently) favorite mug this morning, I felt a desire to write about dishes. What is it about dishes that is so incredibly wonderful? I will admit, I have plenty, and quite a few complete sets. But with rare exception, and this mug is one of them, (available here), I haven’t paid much – or anything at all – for them.

Just to give you an idea of the wonderful dishes that call my table and cabinets their own are the following … a set of Johnson Brothers china, (given me by my college roommate), a complete set of Vernon Ware, which is like a soft-hued Fiesta Ware, (dishes I grew up with),  a 1920’s set of hexagonal amethyst glass dishes, (I paid $15 at the first auction I ever went to with my friend, Jan, in the late 80’s), a Royal Doulton Art Deco tea set missing a sugar bowl, (dirt cheap on London’s Portobello Road in the mid-70’s), hand-thrown bowls, large and small, and serving dishes and casseroles, (all gifts), cobalt crystal tumblers, ( a gift), and …. a lovely assortment of “factory-second” sets from Pfaltzgraff’s factory outlet, ( at $1 and $2 per piece), when they were still open in Flemington. I also have a gorgeous set of hand-thrown stoneware glasses and plates to whose talented creators I happily paid a fair price. And, of course, the hand-thrown mug you see pictured. (In all honesty, there are still more odds and ends in more hand-thrown mugs, pie plates, glasses, serving platters, etc. gathered over the years.)

So what can we conclude from this? That I have tons of company for dinner? Nope, that’s not it. That I am a disaster to only myself when packing to move? Oh, yeah! That many of these dishes have sentimental value? Yup, that’s true, too. But the overriding conclusions are the following … the dishes that I have collected over the years are beautiful, and, in my estimation, a form of art. It’s true. Dishes are a relatively inexpensive – if you know where to shop – form of art.

But wait, there’s another conclusion. Dishes make food look wonderful. Food, one of the true delights in life, can be beautiful on its own when prepared, but placed on the right plate or served in the right bowl or dish, surpasses its own singular appeal. A table set with just the right dishes holding even the simplest of foods can be a form of art. Think of some of the best food magazine photographs – they have you salivating just looking at the food so beautifully presented. And behind every mouthwatering morsel is a carefully selected dish.

So that’s it – there’s joy in dishes because of their beauty as an art form all their own. (And just so you know … I had to actually resist photographing more of my dishes for this post … but maybe another time.)

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