Tuesday, March 9, 2010

We’ve been so busy with the shop opening that we haven’t really gotten a chance to talk about any of the actual items. That’s one of the other things we’ll hope to do on the site is talk about some of the designers, manufacturers and artists involved with the vintage items up in the shop. We already do a lot of similar posts on the Potteries of California blog. The A La Modern blog posts will be in the same vein, but we won’t limit ourselves to a single genre.

By the way, apologies to anyone who tried to purchase something earlier and got a failed order. We had been using the PayPal Sandbox to test out the cart functionality while the site was being developed. Somehow or another, the development email we were using was also being used when the shop was put live. So some orders were never fulfilled. Hopefully, we’ve got that bug ironed out.

One of the cool companies that we’ve come across is Hanova of Pasadena. Most of the items they produced are enameled steel housewares such as candle holders, plates, dishes, bowls and planters. The footed bowl above has a treatment that’s typical of the pieces we’ve seen from them. It usually consists of random splotches or bubbles in the enamel. As we’ve said before, this treatment has been called Brutalist“, supposedly referring to Brutalist Architecture. But as others have said, this doesn’t seem like an accurate description.

Whatever they’re called, they have a really striking look to them. The small orange candle holder below is one of the more common items found by them.

We haven’t been able to find out too much about the actual company, but it seems that many of these items were produced in the 60s and 70s. At one point, I seem to recall someone who knew more about the company (perhaps it was a relative) posting on someone else’s website. Hopefully, they’ll see this blog post and comment more about the company. They made some really wonderful items.

At a swap meet this past weekend, I spotted an enormous Hanova floor planter with a blue splotched glaze. Unfortunately, the light was very bad, so I wasn’t able to get a photo. Also, the planter was pretty bashed up, otherwise I might’ve purchased it.

Besides the typical enamel treatment, there is a solid color enamel dutch-looking bird pattern that I’ve heard Hanova produced. It’s often mistaken for a Cathrineholm pattern. I had come across a large pot with this pattern earlier at the thrift, but hadn’t picked it up because of damage. Now I’m sort of wishing we’d gotten it!

The other thing about Hanova items is that usually they were only marked with some sort of foil sticker. Because of this, I think they often go unrecognized. That’s a good thing, I guess, for people like us who look for it!

We currently have 4 pieces by (or attributed to) Hanova in the shop. It has been difficult to say for sure if some of these items are indeed Hanova, but they all do have very similar characteristics.



2 Responses to “Hanova of Pasadena”

  1. Janet Anderson Says:

    Hanova of Pasadena was my father’s company. That was his hobby in retirement, and I have many of his creative bowls, etc. I am so very pleased that his work is still recognized.

  2. A La Modern Says:

    Janet, thanks so much for commenting! It’s really nice to hear from someone connected to the company. I think there are quite a few people who collect Hanova items, or items in the style of enamel that your father made.

    Because most of them seem to have had paper labels (instead of an engraved signature), a lot of times we’re unsure if a piece of enamel is really from Hanova. By any chance, were there ever any printed advertisements or literature on the company? It would be really great to see them. There is also a particular pattern (see this photo) that is attributed to Hanova, but people sometimes label it Cathrineholm. Was wondering if you could comment on that as well.

    Thank you again for writing!



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