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 .....how 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!