Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oh Green Consumer, Where Art Thou?

My Glidden Collection

I am a collector. I particularly love collecting tableware. China, glasses, silverware, it's all so wonderful. But I've run out of space and I have everything I need. Katie and I have a full service for 16 even though we only have room enough for four in our cabinet or at our table. When we move, that will change of course. We also have Fabulous menagerie desert plates by Glidden, a company from Alfred, NY in the 1950s. I have a set of eleven red with white polka dot Fitz and Floyd dinner plates with a variety of cups, saucers and accessories to match. And I have a tea service for four. But the desire to find new and exciting vintage tableware and kitchen goods continues.

Fitz and Floyd dots

I hope that my desire can be helpful to some of you. Collecting and using vintage ceramics is great for the environment. Ceramics have a high embodied energy, which means that a lot more energy is used to produce a ceramic plate than a paper or plastic plate. To make them a truly environmentally sensitive option ceramics have to be used over and over again. Except for some glazes or decorations, ceramics are usually chemically inert. All the harm that they caused to the environment was just in making them unlike in plastics where production is just the beginning of the trouble it causes.

My favorite china from childhood

So here's the deal: I want to connect you to the vintage tableware of your dreams. I've categorized a lot of great dinnerware from formal to casual, from rare to common, from cheap to expensive . I hope that I can help those of you that want and need dinnerware to select and acquire vintage pieces or a collection that you feel both fits you better than any other dinnerware and eliminates the waste of excess production. I'll help you find what you didn't even know existed and then I'll help you collect it. With so much wonderful design already in the world, everyone deserves to have tableware that makes them happy to eat off it. The fact that it can be had without manufacturing anything new is truly great.

Georges Briard's Fancy Free tea service

As I was researching this project, I actually fell off the wagon myself and bought a wonderful tea set by my new favorite mid-century designer Georges Briard. Please help me help you to some other excellent tableware, flatware, glasses, and cookware before I have to help myself to it.

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