I found this on my last jaunt to the Alameda Flea Market – the lovely ladies at Q13 had this just waiting for me. In my quest to break away from my favorite red/blue combo I keep my eyes open for the fun and different and this fit the bill!
I was also inspired by the glasses I used yesterday, they were just too much fun to wrap back up.
Its been warm here, nothing like our friends in the midwest and east coast, but warm enough to want to eat a little later so you don’t sweat into your dinner.
I love the contrast of the greens with the orange in the tablecloth. I also really love the geometric linear quality of the tablecloth design under the round of the dishes.
The ‘orange’ dishes make me chuckle.
Technically, they’re not ‘orange’. They are the original ‘red’ that was produced from the beginning, from 1936-1943 and then picked back up again from 1959-1972.
Radioactive Red : )
While this sounds dire, and you can use a geiger counter to measure its radioactivity, the amount that would transfer to someone eating off of these is less than you’d absorb just walking around outside.
Homer Laughlin (and many other ceramics manufacturers) used uranium oxide in their glazes. The reason the red was discontinued in 1943 was they needed the uranium for bombs in WWII.
Nice eh? When they picked the color back up again in 1959 they used depleted uranium so those dishes don’t beep like the originals : )
So the orange is really red, the green is vintage as is the turquoise and the glasses make you giggle. A lot going on on this tabletop.
There are, of course, many of my favorite round objects, including a fairly hard-to-find candle holder.
This piece, and about 102 others, were part of an entire table of Fiesta dishes that I found at the flea market a few years ago. I tend to shop like a magpie, anything bright or shiny and I’m there. When I saw a table loaded down with dozens of pieces I probably tripped over small children in wagons just to get there. The biggest draw, besides the acres of bright colors, was the sign that said “Make me a deal, I need this stuff GONE”.
So I did. Was almost as good a deal as the woman who said “Three bucks and its yours” AND I got radioactive dishes to boot : )
I love the mix and match of this. I love the feeling of history this brings. Did the original owners have happy memories associated with these dishes? I hope so. The red was the first color Homer Laughlin decided on when they chose their five colors ( the others being blue, ivory, green and yellow). For you science geeks out there here are a couple of links if you want to find out more about the uranium in the glazes:
Nice article that you need a science degree to understand the detailed chemical analysis but has Fiesta history as well.
Fun info in the form of a Dear Abby letter. It’ll make you laugh.
My girlfriends brother used to work at Lawrence Berkeley Labs and she said they kept a red Fiesta plate on hand just to test out the geiger counters. Funny science people….
Tomorrow – Lance Armstrong tribute
333 days to go!!