Friday, January 18, 2008

LuRay Pastels ~ For My First Show & Tell Friday!

While checking out Betty's blog "Country Charm", I found this cool "Show and Tell"event going on ....seems as though it goes on every Friday! Where have I been? Anyway, it looked like a lot of fun, and gee, what a great idea Kelli had! Why didn't I think of it? :-) Below, you will find what I am showing and telling about. It is my biggest collection!

This is one of our kitchen cupboards. Never mind the fact they used to be dark brown, that's another story for another blog. Actually, back on my New Year's Post I showed the before and after pics of the kitchen redo. ANYWAY, this is my LuRay dinnerware collection. Click here to see what duplicate pieces I am selling in my online store.) Some people have heard of it and some have not. A lot more people had NOT heard of it until Martha (needs no last name) put it on her show or her magazine or maybe even MENTIONED it ....and WOW it was hard to find. But then again, I was living in the midwest at the time, and I really had a hard time finding it. This was before ebay.

Let's start with the beginning. During college, I had gone to a Salvation Army in my hometown. I was in college and of course, didn't have a lot of money. I had originally gone there to look for a man's suit jacket to wear with a white T Shirt and jeans. Does anyone else remember doing this back in the late 80's?????? (Please say yes!) So, I somehow ended up in the housewares area and at the end of an aisle, a stack of all pink dishes caught my eye. Yes, even then, I had a love for pink. I even had a love for pink in high school. Pink pants, pink shoes, pink purse, well, you get the idea. I must have looked like Molly Ringwald meets the cotton candy machine.

So, I did not buy these pink dishes, but found that I could not stop thinking about them. I was daydreaming about how cool it would be when I had my OWN APARTMENT someday cool it would be to have all pink dishes. Well, this drove me crazy and I ended up at the library looking up vintage dishes in books until I found a book that listed a set of all pastel dishes called LuRay. "This must be it!," I thought.

Well whether it was or it wasn't the same set....I didn't forget. It wasn't until 1992 when I did have my own apartment, along the shore in NJ....when I found my very first piece. It was the small "Surf Green" 36's bowl....just the perfect size for oatmeal, or for mixing small sauces, etc. I was soooooooo excited! The hunt was on!

Now it is 16 years (wow, has it really been that long?) later and I am still collecting. I am now onto the more difficult pieces to find....which makes it even more fun. Sure, I could stalk them on ebay, but what fun is that? I used to go to Atlantique City every year and bring my entire tax return and hunt the stuff down, dealer by dealer. (By the way, Atlantique City is soooooo neat! You've got to go at least one time if you love antiques! What a learning experience!) But now, I am patient and get a piece here and a piece there. I do buy on ebay sometimes... but it has to be a really rare piece. Otherwise, I like to FIND it myself. Oh the thrill!

Here's a brief history on these dishes. They were made by Taylor, Smith & Taylor in West Virginia. They were named by a salesman for the company who had just returned from a trip to Luray Caverns in Virginia. He thought the pretty pastel colors sparkled like the sparkling colors in the caverns. This was in the late 1930's. They stopped making them around 1954 or 1955, I believe. These dishes were supposed to be the alternative to the very popular and very colorful FIESTA Ware.

There was a brief moment of insanity where I almost started selling off my collection. I did not have any place to display them. Then when my DH and I bought our house a year and a half ago, we decided to update our 1970's kitchen. It was then I realized it was now or never. So, we replaced the cabinet doors (custom made OAK cabinets....wonderfully made, so this was painful for my DH) with a vintage style glass, and painted the cabinets a much lighter color. We added some inside lighting and well, now I can't imagine my kitchen with anything else! My DH is the sweetest to even want to do this...and I am grateful. And so glad I kept the collection.

So, on my first "Show and Tell Friday" here it is. My favorite collection ... and the how and why. I also have another post on my Bella Rosa blog about LuRay if you click here, you will find it.

Do you have something you love to hunt for? Tell me by leaving a comment here!


Lisa said...

Fantastic display of simply gorgeous dishes. What a story! What a history! I'm so glad that you didn't sell off your dishes - that would have been a shame. Great show and tell - welcome aboard!!

Penless Thoughts said...

Love your beautiful dishes and how you show them with the glass doors. Glad you joined in with Show & Tell. It is such fun!!

Betty said...

Thanks for the, you don't have to show every Friday...Previously, I've attempted to show each week but sometimes I'm away and can't.....

Isn't it fun to collect certain patterns and pursue the hunt.....Betty

nannykim said...

wonderful story--I love dishes so I loved the story. There is something about dishes that says, "BUY ME" . The house I live in was owned by a lady that had the same love. She built two additional storage areas because she had so many sets!! My husband told me, no more! But it was so funny, because one trip when in Atlana, Ga. he went to an antique store and purchased a set of Mikassa dishes he loved!! HA!

Carol said...

I am a confused individual (just ask my family)...I was going to email, but couldn't find it..
do we need to comment each day for your drawing?
I suppose I have anyway
Like your show & tell, great story!


Karla said...

How interesting! Thanks for joining in "Show & Tell Friday"... I was happy to come across it this week, too. I'm amazed I haven't seen it before!

Thanks for your comments on my blog. I hope you'll stop by again soon.

Michelle said...

Hi Jillian,
Thanks for stopping by..I purchased my milk glass canisters at an antique fair that happens in my town once a month. I just love them!

I enjoyed your show and tell story! I'd love to enter your giveaway - I hope this comment enters me and I'll put your banner giveaway on my blog!


Michelle said...

Thanks for entering me in your giveaway! I put you on my favorite blogs too! :)


jennifer said...

Hi Jillian. Guess what? I did my first ever Show and Tell Friday this week too! Check me out.
So, collections. GOSH, sometimes I feel like 'what do I not collect?'
I have Jadeite, some depression glass, Kit Kat Clocks ( only 4), poodle figurines, tole ware...stuff like that there. I tend to like collectibles that I can put in my kitchen, and it is getting crowded in there! I'm thinking about removing the stove to install a curio cabinet. - Jen said...

What a pretty thing to collect, I love all the soft colors in that china.

The Rose Room said...

Hi Jillian, thanks for calling by and visiting me. Shipping to USA is quite expensive:( I love the name of your antique blog and the story behind it, also the story of your LuRay collection. You are a great story teller. I am now off to look up LuRay myself:) Rachael

Dawn-Hydrangea Home said...

Hi Jillian! Sorry to leave this response on this post, but I couldn't find an email address for you. To answer your question about the beaded words on my site, I am only out of stock on the dream, I do have Love, Hope and Create in stock! Have fun getting your new site ready. I will add you to my favorites too! Thanks!

Cheryl said...

I love your collection of colorful fun~

MJ said...

I've a thing about collecting things! It seems I collect too much! I'm glad that you have kept your collection and would hope that you spring them from the cupboard regularly to use and enjoy them too!

(PS: I'd be delighted if you wanted to include me in your bloglist! I have a mental note to include yours in mine but I am horribly tardy in attending to my blog!)

Anonymous said...

I make LuRay broken china backstamp charms..their on my website! I am looking for aqua!