Monday January 25, 2016 | Comments
OK - I have to admit, I'm a little surprised that we've been having some decent direct sales through our A La Modern main shop lately. I don't know whether the blog is actually helping out, or if it's just search engines chewing on our long tail search terms on the product pages, but it's encouraging either way.
I actually expected to get no sales at all for at least a half year, mainly because we just don't have the web traffic. And if I look at the stats, it's not like traffic has gone up that much recently. Funny, but a large portion of the inquiries on our items have come from afar - that is, from non-U.S. peeps. So I'm trying to figure out how everyone is finding us, but in the meantime - hello there!
I got a little excited when I stumbled across this interesting lucite cube paperweight at the thrift. I knew about the Vasa Mihich ones, and those are fairly valuable if you can find them. However, this one has some different characteristics - the lucite looks like it has flat planes of colored film(?) embedded in it instead of solid color sections. It also has a different signature that I couldn't make out - if you know who it is, let me know!
I spotted this Anri Form teak bowl at the flea market and knew what it was right away. The seller had a bunch of old dominoes in it, and when I decided to buy the bowl he said, "Well, where am I going to put the dominoes then?" I kind of started blankly at him and handed him the money. I have to admit I don't have the greatest people skills, which often results in sellers not giving me the "best" price at the flea market.
Interesting that this bowl only has one handle, I haven't figured out if it's more rare or not but it seems like it might be. Which means if I stick it on Ebay later on I better be sure to say RARE in the title...
Ok, ending with a bit of a detour - the well-regarded ceramics master Harrison McIntosh passed away last week. I'd originally found out about his work when we started to get into California Pottery in the mid 2000s.
We got to see quite a few of his pieces, including the 2009 exhibit called "A Timeless Legacy" at AMOCA in Pomona. These pictures were taken from that show.
We never got around to meeting him or owning one of his pieces, and I really wish we had. Actually, finding one of his pieces in the wild is definitely on my "thrift bucket list". I know it's not very likely, but you never know - weirdly enough, there was an estate this past week that had one of his pieces in it, but I decided not to go. I'm wondering who ended up getting it...
Well there's your abbreviated "thrift roundup" for this week. If you've found something interesting at the thrift this week, please leave a comment below. Or not. I'm guessing most visitors are lurkers, but that's OK with me since no one blogs any more, and the comments are third party and live offsite anyhow. Oh - so, speaking of how much I hate dealing with third party programs... our host has decided to drop the interface that was running all our contact forms. So, I've been writing my own code AGAIN. Therefore - the contact form(s) may be borked off and on, as I'm still figuring that part out.
Tuesday January 12, 2016 | Comments
So, I'm still throwing around ideas for what the A La Modern blog should focus on. In the meantime, I decided to continue doing short "thrift roundups" every so often. While they do take time, I realized that in addition to possibly driving readership they have the side benefit of strengthening the internal structure of our website. Remember, this blog has been rebuilt from scratch so all the little helpful goodies like categories, tags, top posts, archives don't really exist. (You will laugh but I'm writing this in notepad, and later editing it online in vi!)
Anyhow, I'll be focusing the thrifting posts around items that we're featuring on the main site, as opposed to our Etsy and Ebay stores. We do want people to buy things on our other venues, but I'm hoping to use blog posts to set up interior site links which will help mitigate the lack of things like built-in "tag" pages.
I picked up this interesting Asaina Adamee stone bird carving at a thrift store last month. It was fully signed, but I haven't found much info about the creator - fairly certain it's a modern Inuit soapstone carving. Interesting, the last name "Adamee" shows up as "Adamie" on some sites - was wondering if that was a family name or something. I'm not too familiar with Native American art and crafts, so will have to keep researching.
It might seem like we've been finding a lot of Bitossi pieces lately, but to be honest it's more that we've gotten used to paying for them. Loved this Bitossi Seta compote so I just had to get it - unusual color scheme on it with gold and light blue. This one might become a keeper if no one takes it soon (hey, it's like $500 on "Dibs").
In addition to thrifts and antiques, we often attempt to pick items online - with VERY mixed results. I came across an auction while I was waiting in the dentist's office, and got all excited because I thought it might be David Cressey. It wasn't that cheap and I probably should've waited and researched at home. So, it turns out that it's probably a lamp in the style of David Cressey. Still a nice piece, and if you look around online you'll see some people have sold it as David Cressey. I personally don't think it is - the top portion is actually glazed and not bisque stoneware (the clay itself is actually white as well). But from the cord and top fixture it does appear vintage at least. Well - you win some...
Last up is this great looking Bitossi Horse with an unusual color combination and decor on side. You might remember we also found a Bitossi ball vase with the same colorway. I've still got several Bitossi items left in the queue to list up.
I think three years ago I would've passed on most of these Bitossi pieces either because I thought the price was too high to get for resale, or because I didn't even know what they were. I'm a slow learner, but it's been making a difference now that we're focusing on bringing home higher quality items while accepting the need to pay a little bit more for inventory.
All right, so there's the first round up for this year - if you've found something interesting, please leave a comment below. Yes, comments finally work! We also have an RSS feed (first few lines summary only right now) if you use a reader. I don't know how many other people still do thrift roundups, but I'm also interested in exchanging links with other thrifting and design blogs - that is, as long as you're still writing posts.