Hi everyone. I had a choice between working at the new house today or working on the shops for the holiday season. Instead, I chose the hidden third option... visiting some thrift stores! I'm Thankful I did, because I found a few nice things. Since we'll be working over the weekend, I thought I'd get a thrifting roundup today.

I picked up yet another Stoneware Designs West vase the other day. I really like these pieces, but they haven't exactly been flying off the shelves. Because of that, I've vowed not to pick them up anymore unless the price is right.

I ended up coming home with this curious chubby little "shot put" figurine, although I would've left it if it wasn't so cheap. I'd thought originally it looked similar to some of the Lisa Larson figures we've seen. After trying to research it, now I'm not so sure - it's probably from Japan. Anyone know?

I couldn't believe this La Mirada horse was still available at the thrift. Not only that, but it was still in near perfect condition. This is a California pottery that actually dates way back to the 1930s. It was bought by another company called American Ceramic Products, that also has ties to the Winfield Pottery company.

I've come across quite a few La Mirada pieces, since we live in SoCal. Since we might be letting more of them go, I took a pic of some of the ones we've found above. La Mirada is often unmarked, or the mark is obscurred, or it originally had paper labels. They specialized in a purposeful crackle crazing glaze, and after awhile you can start to recognize them purely on the colors, glaze and pottery composition.

Lastly, I came across two great orange pottery pieces. The one on left is from Germany and was made (or distributed?) by the Simon Peter Gerz company. I believe they specialized in beer steins, but don't know much about their vases and other work. Some info is available on the Pottery and Glass Forum. The newer stuff appears to use the name "Gerzit". Funny, this orange vase looks very similar to a Jaru Art Products piece we sold earlier. I definitely think it looks 50s-60s.

The orange cylinder vase on the right is from Italy, and it looks awfully similar to some of the Bitossi pieces we've seen. However the bottom mark is just a simple ink stamp marked "Italy"... and I noticed that the "symbols" on the side of the vase look different than the standard Bitossi ones. Not sure again on this one, I think I need to research it further.

OK - happy thanksgiving and happy thrifting!

Hi everyone. Ugh. I pretty much got skunked on the thrift outing today, which was a letdown since I'd worked 7 days straight at the new house so I was looking forward to it. I only found one thing, and it was an ASHTRAY. You know about the "No Ashtray" rule... but I decided to pick it up anyway because I recognized the name.

I'd heard of and seen Doyle Lane's ceramics before. He was an important African American ceramicist and his works are displayed in many museums around the country. He studied with Vivika Heino and F. Carlton Ball.

The thing is that this looks nothing like the amazing weed pots, "crackle lava" pieces and clay paintings that he's more known for. In fact, the ashtray is rather unremarkable... I almost didn't pick it up because I thought it might be a Treasure Craft piece. I tried researching the sig a little bit, and found a few that seem to match - though most of the nicer pieces are signed simply "Lane".

I'm a bit stumped - unless there's another potter named Doyle Lane, it just doesn't make any sense for someone to try and pass off a true Doyle Lane piece using this ashtray form. In any case, the jury's out - but if you happen to know if he produced more of these extremely utlilitarian pieces (I've found a few similar examples, but have not found anything definitive), would be interested to hear about it.

OK - hope your thrifting was better than mine!

Hi everyone. I was going to skip a post this week, but we found a few things. Plus, I didn't want to miss posting on 11-11-11 (I know... *number nerd* !) Also, sorry about the contrast in the photos... I've had to take pics at nightime lately.

I found yet ANOTHER size of Massimo and Lella Vignelli glass casserole or roasting pans. This one measures about 8 1/4" wide, and I only found the bottom. Weird that it's slightly smaller than this other one we found originally, yet bigger than the unlisted smaller "souffles" we found recently. It's interesting how different sizes keep popping up. Here's the article we wrote up on them, in case you want to see all the sizes.

I've cut down enormously on buying any more Pottery Craft. Still, it's difficult to pass on the nicer "tricolor" dipped examples like this large one that I picked up the other day. The great thing is that many of these are unmarked, or only marked very lightly on the side bottom of the vase. And again, to my knowledge these are not Robert Maxwell designs... contrary to what Feebay sellers keep saying in their listings!

One of our new thrifting mandates has been to pass on "larger" items unless they have quite a bit of value. That sure didn't work with the Pottery Craft vase above, and also with this monumental black incised Raymor vase made in Italy. It has a glaze blue-green interior. I knew it was Raymor because I recognized the partial sticker on the bottom. Unfortunately, it's missing the part of the sticker that could identify the maker - since Raymor was only the distributor. I still couldn't pass it up because it was so striking.

This last item set is my favorite - it's a glass decanter with 4 small cups. When I saw it, I knew immediately I had to get it. It came from a little hole-in-the-wall thrift shop that I only rarely visit. It's unmarked, but it's so well made and has extremely thin glass walls. I immediately thought it was Scandinavian, maybe Swedish or Finnish, but I haven't really looked up any companies to check for matches. The quality also reminds me a bit of Iittala or Nuutajarvi. If you happen to have an idea who it might be, let me know... I'll probably be researching it more this weekend.

Happy thrifting!

Hi everyone. I decided to make another post since I got to take a picture of the stereo system we picked up the other day. I'd taken a lunchbreak after working on the new house in the morning last week. Coming home, I took a back route to get to our house. I was driving up the hill, about 5 houses away from ours when I spotted this sitting on the curb.

I didn't realize it was a stereo system until I got out of the car... I actually thought it was some sort of dresser at first. It's a Sears Silvertone record player with amp and speakers, probably from the late 60s to early 70s. Pretty sure about the time period, since it appears the Silvertone name wasn't used after 1972.

In any case, I was excited to find one for free! I know that these are fairly common and people are often eager to unload them for low-ish prices. I just didn't want to pay that much, and free certainly fit the bill.

It was just me that day - I was just BARELY able to "walk" it off the sidewalk, go up the hill slightly, and then into my car all by myself. I know that this piece is going to require quite a bit of work - the previous owner had thoughtfully screwed shut the top opening panel. Our thought was that they might've been using it as a TV stand or something.

I believe that some people end up converting these stereo systems into drink bars. The funny thing is that my dad said that my grandmother originally had a similar console like this that had a TV in it. And they also had one that was a drink bar as well!

The finish on the sides is still quite good - it's just the top that'll need to be refinished. I'm a little concerned if the innards still work - it contains a record player, radio and amp. Things are disconnected, so I probably have to mess around with it to get it to work. I think it may have originally had an 8-track in the space next to the radio. If we can't make it work out - I think we'll just leave it out on the curb like our neighbor did. If we do, I wonder if they'll drive up the hill and see their own stereo system at our house on the curb, LOL!

A little bonus before I close - we picked up these great wall hangings last week at an estate. I've seen them before (forget who had them) in different colors - these are made by Syroco and date to the 1970s. Oh, and the formica diner table is actually my grandparent's original that I remember eating off of when I was a kid. We decided to keep it for now, along with the green naugahyde curved diner seat in the back... it's in the kitchen's breakfast nook.

Hope you enjoyed this extra post - see you all next week!

Hi everyone. Quick little group shot of thrifted items from yesterday. I ended up going on a Thursday since we're planning on working at the new house today. Please click the photo for a bigger view.

The duck planter in front is one that I've seen attributed to David Stewart Lion's Valley several times. Still have not nailed down whether this one is indeed by him - it has a lot of the characteristics though.

Continuing the duck theme - the mug to the right of the planter is another Taylor and Ng Primitives piece. I think this pattern has been re-made, but this is the older, heavier mug with "Japan" impressed on bottom. These do rather well in our Etsy outlet so I rarely pass them up.

Next to the mug is a collection of bread and butter plates from Arabia of Finland in the Katrilli pattern. This is only the second time we've come across this pattern, seems a little difficult to find. The earlier large Katrilli bowl we picked up wasn't marked at all, but these have full markings on the back including the "Decor protected by glaze" notification in 3 languages.

The little round planter pot next to the Katrilli plates is from Stoneware Designs West (SDW). No stickers or markings on it, but 100% sure it's from them. These can be a great pickup at the thrift if you recognize them, because without markings a lot of others pass them by.

Moving to the back is a large lasagna baker Pyrex dish in the Friendship pattern. We tend to pass on a lot of Pyrex nowadays, even the decorated stuff. But we have a thing for the Friendship pattern so we'll usually grab it if reasonable enough.

Sitting in the Pyrex baking dish is an unusual Dorothy Thorpe glass dish. I was surprised this one had the original sticker still on it too. It has a nice geometric pattern - reminds me of Spirograph. Interesting that this one doesn't use silverplating on glass - it's a white glaze instead.

Finally, I picked up this great looking midcentury brass connected candlholder. Full props to the #thriftbreakers who helped push me to get this one. The ones I've seen before usually have wood, so I wasn't sure if this all metal one might be newer. Common consensus appears to be that it's from the 1970s though. I thought about keeping it, but I think we'll have to let it go...

OK, that's it for this week. I actually need to take a photo of another fun find from this week - but it's already in the garage over at the new house! Might make another post this weekend about it if we get a chance.

Happy thrifting!