Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Collecting Pottery

Here is how it all started. It's my sister's fault. Laurie lives near Centralia, WA, which is an antique center in Western Washington. She gave me these two pots as gifts.
The turquoise vase introduced me to the famous McCoy mark. Then I picked up a Martha Stewart book and saw some of her McCoy collection. I loved it.
The white vase introduced me to the beauty of the form and texture of matte white. While I do have pieces of color, most of my collection is in white, whether matte or gloss. I love the way white allows the form and texture of the pottery to dominate.
This was my first antique shop purchase of white McCoy. I found it in Aurora, Or. I was visiting my mother. I paid full price, and I did not tell her how much I paid. She was not sure why I would buy such a thing. Surely they could easily be found without paying much. Most of these pieces are from the 40s and 50s, not especially old to my mother, and frivolous to someone who had survived the depression.
This is my latest purchase. I bought it on e-bay. About 1999 I discovered shopping on e-bay. It was a dangerous thing! Eventually I cut myself off. Then last month Pay Pall informed me that I had money in my account that they would give away if I did not use soon. I had no idea why I had money there, but since I did, I used it!
I collected from shops all over the area, loving the fun of the hunt. But prices began to climb, thanks to Martha, so I became more interested in finding "bargains". I bought books on McCoy and Shawnee pottery and checked values, reveling in getting good deals. Once in a while I paid full price for a "must have".
The swan was a Tom find. Turns out the value was four times what I paid! The McCoy jardiniere was my biggest e-bay purchase - a great deal.
As I filled up my display space, I realized I needed to slow down.
Then my first grandchild was on the way, and I had a whole new pottery focus, juvenile! I had Tom build more shelves!
Of course, I didn't limit myself to vases, or McCoy or Shawnee. When in Colorado we stopped at the Van Briggle pottery works, still in business, and bought new "old" designs. The antique shop in Brush, CO supplied cool finds in blue and pink, vases I use a lot, even though I don't know the maker. The swans are a collection in themselves. Another piece of furniture was needed.
There are, of course, other pieces scattered around the house. I have thought about what I would do if I had to downsize. What would I keep? How would I choose?
I couldn't decide, so obviously I'm not ready to move.
Posting this blog reminded me that I still have some money in that Pay Pall account. Oh, oh.


  1. Your collection has an off the charts WOW!!! factor!

    How do people who visit in your home keep their eyes from wandering to all of your fabulous pottery, and ceramic pieces. I know I'd go nuts looking at them all.

    Wonderful, Linda.

  2. Oh I'm glad you posted with your collection. I especially love the white vases as well. What a wonderful collection and I love the baby shoes. How cute are those! Thanks for sharing.

  3. how fun, loved seeing your pottery collection. wonder what would happen if you had an earthquake in your area. guess that would keep you busy with gluing. thanks for sharing...

  4. Nice pottery collection Linda, I happen to have a weak spot of pottery myself!

  5. Oh my goodness..They are beautiful. My mother became seriously ill about 4 years ago and we had to take over her affairs and get into her house which she never let us into. I is not normal. Well we found out that she had been buying stuff on E-Bay to the tune of thousands of dollars. When her credit cards maxed, she took a loan. It was and still is a horrible mess and her house is full of stuff. I won't ever go onto E-Bay now...

  6. My gosh! These vases and pottery are too too gorgeous... You could be making me want to collect again. I can't though because I have too many essentials I need yet. Still... Your collection is just too wonderful!

  7. Wow!! What a pottery collection you have. So beautiful. It is so true that even when we think we have run out of room--aha we can always add new shelving....somewhere.
    I have a friend who has amazing collections of many things. Her daughter once asked her what she was going to do with all that 'stuff'. She answered "not my problem, my dear, not my problem". I had to laugh.
    That is quite a collection of Carruth you have also. I have some in my garden, mostly very heavy faeries. MB

  8. Wow. I am just speechless. You have some wonderful pieces pictured here. What a great collection and kept so lovingly. Thank you for taking the time to share it with us.

  9. Goodness, you sure have a huge collection! My wife Jill also has a collection of various things. Her latest craze is miniature teapots. - Dave

  10. You have an awesome collection of pottery. I like to collect things too but I have nowhere near the collection you have. All your pieces are beautiful.


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