Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Thrift Report: The Order Of Things

While Janel was on the East Coast last week, I, Zach, took her absence as an opportunity to go a little crazy with the thrifting. Mediocre mid-week thrifts gave way to a fruitful weekend at antique malls and the Rose Bowl Flea. It was my first trip to the Rose Bowl. Having been warned to the effect of "don't even bother," due to its fabled enormity, I figured it was at least worth a try and found it not only manageable, but a great source.

I got A LOT of stuff this week.

In the category of various birds:
L-R: tiny ironwood pelican; tiny Howard Pierce quail; David Stewart for Lion's Valley chicken planter; Pigeon Forge owl.
In the category of Japanophilic figurines:
L-R: cast iron geisha; pair long-haired kokeshis; wood carved weeping buddha.
In the category of brutalist metal owls with Uncle Leo eyebrows:
A set of bookends pictured with a relative available in our shop.
In the category of mugs:
Clockwise from top-left: Fireking; Kilncraft English Heritage Stonehenge; Bits & Bytes; Newer Taylor & Ng; hexagonal rainbow mug with older T&N circular "JAPAN" embossing.
In the category of miscellaneous interesting objects with a predominance of salt & pepper serving vessels:
L-R: Ben Siebel for Jenfred-Ware copper-plated candlesticks; Takahashi lacquered turned wood teardrop salt and pepper shakers; William Bounds PepArt pepper mill; stained wood French double-action corkscrew (relative in our shop); two William Bounds PepArt Shakers

In the category of mostly-flat objects of varying uses:
Front Row, Clockwise: Arabia Saara plates;  enamel dish signed "Gunne Sault Ste Marie Canada"; Fleetwood Designer knives; enamel dish signed J. M. Gabriel. Back Row: four Taylor & Ng Classy Critters tile trivets.
And in the category of having recently missed the Ark:
Pair Christais Sao Marcos Molinari handblown glass squirrels; pair ceramic MMA William the blue hippo ornaments.

I'll wrap this up with objects added to our personal collections this week:

The vase on the left is shown next to a larger vase for reference. I love its pinched form and glaze, and had to have it when I picked it up and almost threw it in the air due to its weighing a quarter what it looked like it should.
The bottom two objects are previously collected carved alligator heads that were cut from decommissioned Papua New Guinean canoes and traded; the top object is a miniature version of said canoes which I picked up in an antique mall this past weekend.
A grouping of recently-collected kachinas, with the left-most fellow having been acquired this weekend. He is notable for an intact feather (missing on all our others) and close-positioned hands, implying older provenance than the others.
That's it for now. The next week will be light on thirfting and [hopefully] heavy on cataloging and listing.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Thrift Report: Snoopy And The Gang

We had a great weekend of thrifting even though we swore it off for a couple weeks (rolls eyes)!

It started with stumbling into some new locations after a yoga workshop Saturday morning, and continued into Sunday with an impromptu and long overdue trip to Kobey's Swap Meet: San Diego's charming red-headed-stepchild-version of Long Beach and the Rose Bowl.

Here's the round-up:

  • a big stack of Heller plates and mugs; the plates are in really great condition; the mugs are all cracked at the bottom
  • a super cute Jorge Wilmot ceramic bird which is either a parrot or peregrine falcon
  • two tiny Jorge Wilmot ceramic birds (one's a duck)
  • the most beautifully painted Ken Edwards ceramics we have yet encountered including four cups and pair of salt and pepper shakers
  • two teak vikings that are likely bottle openers, but we've been too scared to yank their heads off in case they're not[!]
  • a crinkle glass Dorothy Thorpe gold-plated crystal swoop dish
It's also been a great week for our collecting. First we found a bunch of kachinas last week, and then this week we acquired pieces for our other collections:

We officially have a Wayne Chapman collection with the left addition.
This Zuni inlay Snoopy ring is unsigned but somewhat resembles the style and quality of Carol Kee's work. I [Zach] am constantly on the lookout for these, and practically have to cover my mouth to stifle a scream when I find them. This one was also the best deal I've found yet.
And here he is with the modest but steadily growing collection.
That's all for now. Until next time... 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thrifting Report: Modernism Week

This past weekend found us at the Palm Springs Convention Center for Modernism Week. This was our first year attending, and we only spent the day. Next year we're hoping to make it for the whole weekend since there are so many great tours and events to attend.

We were seriously inspired by all the amazing modernist art and design on display. Check out the album on Facebook.

After Palm Springs we headed up to Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree for some picking and camping. Sunday we spent the day picking our away through the various antique malls and vintage stores in Yucca Valley as well as the Joshua Tree Swap Meet.

The swap meet was desolate, but we met with some success. The antique malls all seem to have raised their prices since this time last year, which was a disappointment. We found a couple items within our price range at least.

  • two Blenko carafes–one with a modern sticker, one with no sticker or markings
  • a Kilban Cat sculptural candle holder
  • two kokeshis
  • a pair of Netsukes
  • three Kachinas[!] including an amazing tall old one
  • a pair of Iittala Ultima Thule schnapps glasses
  • blue David Stewart for Lion's Valley rabbit planter
  • french double-action orange lacquered corkscrew
  • cute ceramic owl
  • enameled copper dish signed "fløm" on the bottom
  • a small C Jeré style metal flower statue

      •  a three-and-a-half point Hudson Bay blanket (that needs to go to the dry cleaner's but is otherwise mint)
      • and, last but not least, an incredible large ceramic pot that is signed "Young 72"
      Whew! got more detailed than I meant to with those photos. That pot though; cursory research has me wondering if it's Harvey Young, but I've yet to confirm.

      We'll close out this post with some J-Tree photos:

      A favorite feature in the park, "The Saddle" is massive and is seen here half way up the trail to the Ryan Mountain summit. I had never previously realized it was part of Ryan Mountain, having only explored it from the meadow below and seen it from the road every time we pass.
      Another favorite spot is on top of Cyclops–a roadside mound across from Intersection Rock. The view looking out over endless Joshua trees marching through the boulders of the Asteroid Belt is pretty epic.

        Tuesday, January 28, 2014

        Weekly Thrifting Report: Two By Twosday

        Happy Twosday everyone! I started photographing the great stuff we found this week, and noticed a theme. What fun!

        It all started with this set of Noritake Craft Collection crystal salt and pepper shakers. These are heavy and beautiful, btw.

        This set of studio pottery salt and pepper shakers is pretty great with the wine bottle cork stoppers!

        We've mostly stopped buying Potterycraft, except we couldn't pass up this set of salt and pepper shakers.
        So, wow, three sets of salt and pepper shakers. So often you only find one of the set, or, if you find a set, one is broken. We found a bunch of really cool studio pottery mugs while we were out and about, but only one at a time, so back to the shelves they went!

        These two pots are officially unaffiliated, but strike quite a dualistic figure. We'll be holding on to these for the time being.

        I picked up this set of cobalt glass votives marked "Marimekko" on the bottom, not knowing they were Iittala! These are the smaller of the Kivi models.
        And now, for our final pair, two Blenko amber crackle glass vases! We were in Fullerton for a wedding this weekend, and between Friday and Sunday we hit nearly 15 thrift stores, striking out almost every time. The pinch vase was literally my only find from seven places Saturday afternoon!
        Okay, switching gears:

        This Victoria Littlejohn ceramic pig trivet isn't the most exciting find, but it's pretty undeniably cute!
        Found a bunch of these Made in Japan Alchohol Safe trays including the set on the left to match a large tray Janel picked up while on the East coast a while ago.
        I passed on a HUGE Tony Evans raku planter earlier in the week due to it being more than I wanted to spend at the time. I can only assume Janel found this asymmetrical Tony Evans Raku vase this weekend as a sort of Karmic assurance.
        While not a thrift find, and destined for our personal collection, I just had to share this Papua New Guinea cassowary bone dagger we received in the mail this week, which is actually closer to a lime spatula or spoon than a dagger. The dark honeyed patina is pretty amazing–much deeper than on any of our other cassowary bone utensils.

        Tuesday, January 21, 2014

        Weekly Thrifting Reort: Practicing Restraint

        Janel has been urging me to invest more time posting items to the store and less to being out and about thrifting, and I've been trying to retrain my impulses. I did pretty well this week, which means we don't have a ton of new stuff to show here. In any case...

        These Iittala Arkipelago glass candle holders were in my hands before I even realized what I was doing. We scored a pair of triangular clear ones a couple weeks ago, and this set of short blue-tinged ones are pretty incredible. The blue tint is pervasive throughout the whole form.

        The tall Stoneware Designs West vase on the right is new this week. The planter on the left is for comparison.

        We only pick up vintage ties if they're special. These two Armani ties are beautiful enough to wear today, 100% silk, made in Italy, and in perfect condition. I may not be able to let go of that monochromatic mauve striped one...

        There's a lot of Mexican ironwood carved figures out there, and a lot of them aren't very unique. We leave a lot of generic looking dolphins, sharks, pelicans, and quails behind. I've never yet seen an otter, and I was so happy with this guy, I didn't notice he had a broken flipper until I got home. Oh well.

        Janel picked up with cool roadrunner. It's pretty small as these figures go, but the details are great and it's a nice modern form.

        Like I said, not the best week ever, but that was kind of the point. We're hoping to do some out-of-town thrifting this coming weekend, so stay tuned!

        Monday, January 13, 2014

        Weekly Thrifting Report: Not So Weekly

        Happy New Year everyone! Since we basically forgot we had a blog for a month, this is our first post of the year. In addition to not blogging, we also haven't been out thrifting as much recently. In any case, we've gotten some great stuff!

        Spotted this brutalist metal owl and it flew straight into the basket! The feet and beak are nails.
        This figure was on a shelf with a bunch of pig figurines. I instantly recognized it as Japanese and probably cryptomeria wood, but I thought it was a bear. Turns out, it's a Tanuki, AKA a Japanese raccoon dog. I've seen statues of these a hundred times and always thought they were bears. I had no clue raccoon dogs were even a thing! Anyway, yes, those are massive testicles in between its feet.
        Continuing with small figurines, this cat is likely Japanese and is pretty much the best with that dangling mouse.
        Transitioning to glass, we picked these up at a Salvation Army for 75% off. Not sure if we'll post now or wait until the next holiday season. I've seen a couple of these online without a definite attribution, and several instances have suggested West German. Does anyone know what these are for sure?
        It's been a good year for Holmegaard! We started off with this small Primula apothecary jar designed by Jacob Bang. It cost basically no money, and it even has it's original cork!
        This Holmegaard Menuet vase designed by Per Lütken is in like-new condition. I've been hoping to find one of these for a little while, and was psyched when I spotted it. Definitely paid an un-thrifty price on this one...
        Someone loved their glass collection because this Thule bowl, also designed by Per Lütken for Holmegaard, is also in like-new condition! Also spent un-thrifty money on this one.
        We'll finish with fabric. This kachina handkerchief isn't particularly nice or anything, but come on, it's a hachina handkerchief!
        Janel found this four yard bolt of awesome modernist hand-screen-printed fabric. Maybe we'll make some pillows.
        That's it for now! Hopefully we'll be better about posting in the near future.

        Thursday, December 19, 2013

        TBT: Peter Voulkos

        The footage of Peter Voulkos constructing a huge ceramic piece in this video is incredible.

        Video is apropos running into this piece by Jerry Rothman while out and about yesterday, and thus been reading about pottery all morning:

        From Design One's 1stdibs store