Friday, October 25, 2013

Firsts: Taylor & Ng

I used to pass by the ubiquitous mug miscellany section at thrift stores with barely a glance; assuming all generic-shaped illustrated coffee mugs to be of the same worthless ilk. I now know a little better and look forward to wading through the truly worthless and generic in search of the gems.

Among the gems to be found are vintage illustrated mugs by Taylor & Ng.

I found these three pieces this past week. The La Baleine mug is officially my first T&N.


History Lesson

Taylor & Ng was founded in San Francisco in1965 by Spaulding Taylor and Win Ng. Beginining with their signature quirky illustrated ceramics, the company expanded to include a wide range of housewares. Eventually, in addition to a wholesale business that brought their goods to stores everywhere, they opened their own department store, which closed in 1985. You can still buy goods from Taylor & Ng online.

I thought this story was straight-forward until I started reading about Win Ng's history. Ng was initially inspired to be a ceramicist, following in the non-functional abstract expressionist footsteps of Peter Voulkos. By the 70's Ng had multiple one-man shows around the world.

It's difficult to reconcile the obvious disparity between his initial artworks and the illustrated ceramics of T&N. The development of the company into purely functional home goods is nothing if not ironic.

Something of an explanation exists in that Ng continued to create fine art throughout his time with T&N. He left the business in 1981 to focus on fine art until is death from AIDS related complications in 1991 at the age of 55.

I guess if you're going to use an X-mas mug,  this would be a good way to go...

This is a recipe box. For all your recipes.



No comments:

Post a Comment