Friday, January 17, 2014

California Pottery -Belmar

California pottery is my great collecting weakness. I don't care for knick-knacks, and I'm not one for stamps or coins, but put me face to face with dull coloured, glazed pottery pieces and I'm helpless.
"Please" I whisper, "Take my money."
I mean, look at that avocado coloured mid-century beauty! My mum had pottery like this sitting on our coffee table, but she filled it with Jordan almonds knowing full well neither of her children were desperate enough to risk breaking a tooth on one of those evil things. Candy was pretty much "for show" at our house. Anyone remember the "peas and carrots" shaped candy? Those were gross. I mean, flying saucers were gross too, but at least they weren't made to depict frozen vegetables.
Belmar is my favourite of the California pottery manufacturers. Most of the pieces date from the late 40's through the 50's. I adore this stuff. I attribute this not only to my mother's untouchable candy dishes, but the fact that we had a tiled foyer in our house with California pottery tiles. They looked Italian at first glance, but they were California. She sought them out when they were building the house, and we lived in fear of chipping them. I once dropped a glass walking back from the kitchen to the other wing of the house, and was so terribly relieved when it shattered in a thousand pieces because through some miracle, the precious tile was intact. I'm not kidding. We had extra tiles, but she still would have had our heads. Even the housekeeper was afraid to touch the tile, washing it only with water and a soft cloth. We probably shouldn't have worried, if the pieces I own are any indication, the stuff is sturdy. Not dishwasher sturdy, but you can use soap.

This is a good time to be buying these pieces if you like them. I routinely find them marked for under five bucks, and cheaper in the really grimy thrift stores (so you take it home, and wash it). Just promise...only proper candy! None of that panned stuff.

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