Please read the following message from my friend, Stuart Brownrigg, who owns and runs that amazing WGP stall at Bygone Times in Chorley:
Dear Friends. It is with great regret that I inform you that due to serious illness, I will be forced to close down my stall at Bygone Times, in Eccleston, nr Chorley, Lancashire. To that end, I will be hosting a 25% off everything SALE commencing Sunday March 9th, 2014. All West & East German Pottery is included, as well as Italian, French and British Ceramics. There is also a good selection of art glass available. I will be there at Bygone Times of the first day of the sale and then other days as arranged or notified. Thank you in advance for your support – I need your help to ultimately sell upwards of 3000 pieces! So come along all for those bargains – EVERTHING MUST GO!
Contact me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on +44 (0) 7917 323427
Stuart is the man who gave us some much needed advice and information six years ago, in the early days of our West German pottery collecting. Since then, he has been a font of knowledge and advice, not just for us but for many people in the WGP world. His stall – and surely, the sale – is a spectacle in itself and is well worth the trip Up North. Sadly, we will not be able to make it up there ourselves for this Sunday, but we hope to visit in the coming weeks. Hopefully, there will be a couple of pieces left for us to buy!
Last weekend we held our first grand WGP sale in our new home. We’ve been here for nearly two years now and we’ve accumulated so many pots during that time! The garage and our front reception room were truly sights to behold. Like a nincompoop, I didn’t take a picture of the front room in all of its wall-plaque glory, but here’s one of the garage before the WGP lovers of the North West (and beyond) were unleashed upon it:
It was a lovely weekend, it really was. Saturday was the busier of the two days (it was basically my friends that came on Sunday!); we had people travel from as near as round the corner and from as far away as Hamburg, Germany. It was steadily busy all day, and to be honest, I’m out of practice with taking pictures with a blog in mind. So, there aren’t as many as I would have liked.
Many of the usual suspects came along with lots of new faces; all of whom seemed very pleased with their purchases:
We were really lucky with the weather: it was cold but sunny, perfect pottery hunting conditions. Although one person who came without a coat ended up having to borrow one from Aidan…!
Thank you to everyone who came along from near and far. It really was lovely to meet all of you. If by any chance you read this, if you would like to send a picture of your pottery in situ, I’d love to add it to this post.
Find us nowadays at Facebook.com/westgermanpotsandpots to find out more info and be notified about our pottery for sale.
It’s been two years since our first, last and only West German pottery sale. That was when we were living in our old house, a wonderful two-up-two-down terrace where the pots overfilled the downstairs like the Magic Porridge Pot… Now, we live in a slightly larger abode with a double garage and we’ve decided it’s time for another one. Sale, I mean.
There is a myriad of ways you can get in contact with us to find out about this sale:
- Website: www.potsandpots.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Twitter: @potsandpots
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/westgermanpotsandpots <—- There’s an ‘event’ you can join here. If you do think you can come, please let us know. It just means I’ve got a vague idea how many crisps I need to put out.
We’ll be putting on ‘a bit of a do’ on the day. Well, some nibbles and some wine (wine is OK at 10am, isn’t it?)… and there’s no obligation to buy, whatsoever, If you just fancy coming for a bit of a chat and to meet some other WGP officianados (is that a word?), then come along!
If you’re getting short of space in your house due to the multitudes of West German pottery and other retro/vintage paraphenalia, what better way to continue the WGP theme than by utilising your wall area? Vases weren’t the only pieces to come from the ceramics factories of West Germany.
Wall plaques, wall plates, wall vases… Whatever you want to call them; stick ‘em on your wall and enjoy the space you have left on the floor. Have you spotted the non-German interloper amongst those displayed in the gallery? It’s a very Bitossi-esque plate that I just had to include despite the fact that we no longer own it and nor is it, as we found out from its new owner, even made by Bitossi. No matter. I still love the plate and enjoyed having it around for a bit.
Sometimes the wall plaques and plates can be a little more difficult to identify the makers of. Ruscha often attributed their pieces, and indeed made many of the plates, in particular. However, many of the other companies just didn’t sign their work.
We’ve had the dates confirmed for our trip to New York City. We will be jetting off on October 31st, arriving in time for the Village Halloween Parade. According to the website, the theme for this year is ‘Revival’. I’ll be honest, I’m at a bit of a loss about what the theme actually means and what we can possibly dress up as for it. You can only join in the parade if you’re dressed up and, you know, we love a bit of costume drama in our house. All suggestions are welcomed for a costume idea!
As with all travel and tourist destinations, there are hundreds of travel posters available for New York.
These are some of my favourites from around the internet. What I like about this small selection are the colours and how they convey the size and grandiosity of the city.
The first five posters are vintage travel posters from various airlines and holiday operators. The final one, I found here. Designed by a man called Steve Harvey, I think it’s a modern design but quite nicely evokes a bygone era and sits well with the other posters. My favourite is this one:
We’re going at the wrong time of the year (and in the wrong era, really) but I love the images that this psychedelic poster evokes; laidback parties, hot summer, vibrant people, clothes and buildings and a creative, bohemian atmosphere. There are so many things that we want to do while we’re there. With a baby in tow, it’ll be difficult to do lots of sightseeing so we probably will have a more chilled out time than we would ordinarily (i.e., pre-munchkin). However, this poster makes me excited for some of those long, lazy days sat in Central Park people-watching and eating lots of American food.
I can’t wait.
As children growing up, my sisters and I adored the Disney films. We must have watched them dozens of times each. I also had an extensive collection of Ladybird books – it’s safe to say that the combination of Disney and Ladybird probably gave me my love of fairytales. Even now, I enjoy reading them and I’m waiting in anticipation for the day I can sit Corliss on my knee and read them to her.
However, as a young girl, I never particularly liked ‘Snow White’ the fairy tale. At the time, I didn’t really know why… I did have a thing about ‘silly children’ – can you imagine what the other kids must have thought of me with comments and phrasing such as that – and Snow White, as a character, did always seem a bit ‘silly’. As an adult, I’m able to examine the story and articulate why I felt that way about her. Having found this 1969 copy in a charity shop a couple of weeks ago, it gave me the chance to read it again. Here, the story is retold by Vera Southgate and illustrated by Eric Winter.
Most people know the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Reading it as a modern woman and mother, the set-up of the story highlights some of the main issues of the tale for me. Snow White’s mother wishes for a daughter of great beauty. As Snow White grows older, her beauty invokes jealousy in the Queen; the threat is so great that the Queen plots to murder Snow White before she can become so beautiful that she usurps the Queen’s position as ‘the fairest of all’. Well! Let’s tick off those issues, shall we? Firstly, are good looks the only attributes that you would wish for in your unborn child? Above kindness, intelligence, confidence, good humour? Secondly, it then perpetuates the stereotype that good-looking women can’t abide the sight of other good-looking women (re: Samantha Brick, “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.”)
To make matters worse, it appears that Snow White’s only usable feature (I was going to write ‘skill’ but it’s not, is it?) is her beauty. Luckily, this means the huntsman can’t bear to hurt her, and off she pops into the forest to make sure the Queen can never find her.
Here we move onto the next issue I have with the story: that to keep the beautiful Snow White safe, she has to stay hidden away and not talk to anybody else other than the Dwarfs, just in case she gets hurt. Dwarfs, have you considered the other possibilities for keeping Snow White safe? How about letting her come and work down the mine with you all? Teaching her how to defend herself? Equipping her with some skills that might mean she’s got a bit more nous about her than to keep letting in the old woman with the poisonous goodies? What’s that? It’s easier to keep a woman at home, where you know where she is… I’d love it if the next part of the story showed Snow White setting up traps around the house, Home Alone style, for when the Queen inevitable comes a-knocking. Alas, what actually happens next in the story serves to perpetuate yet more myths surrounding women.
I’ll explain these simply. Old women = ugly and evil. Young women = beautiful and stupid. They can’t win. We can’t win. Can we be beautiful and clever? Old and beautiful? Not in Snow White’s world. At least Cinderella’s sister were young and ugly, and Cinderella is kind and willing to do her best even in adverse conditions. Snow White opens that front door three times - three times! - despite nearly croaking it the first time. Why didn’t she set up some kind of defensive system in the house? Learn to say ‘no’ to the pretty things, grow a back-bone, tell the dwarfs where to shove it and march off to the nearest town to tell the local law-keeper what had been going on.
You know the ending – Snow White gets saved by the handsome prince and they live happily ever after. The dwarfs: well, they can’t save Snow White, what with being physically challenged and all; they don’t even get a chance with her in return for their misguided attempts to look after her. Instead, the handsome, golden-haired Prince swoops in and snaps her up. He doesn’t even need to speak to her, he knows from her great beauty that Snow White is the gal for him. Comatose, for all intents and purposes, she’s dead. It’s a perfect combination: beautiful and quiet. She’s been looking after the dwarfs’ home , never leaving the house either just because they gave her those instructions, so the prince knows she’s subservient too. Perfect wife material. Here she is, thanking the dwarfs for being so kind to her:
Thanks, but no thanks, little fellas… She’s off to make beautiful babies with the handsome prince and live a happy, beautiful, quiet life together as King and Queen. What happens to the original Queen? She dies from her jealousy:
The Queen does have a fit at their wedding feast because she’s so jealous; so she might not be the fairest of them all, but she certainly knows how to spoil a party in style. Is that the moral? Don’t be jealous if other people are better looking than you because it might kill you? Or, if you’re really, really good-looking then no matter what happens, you will eventually get rescued by an equally as good-looking man and become a princess. Or, marriage is the only viable option for a good-looking woman? What happens when Snow White gets older and starts to lose her looks? Will she then become consumed with jealousy over another young contender to the title of ‘Fairest of them all’ and the cycle will start again?
Obviously, as a young girl, this internal debate did not happen. I didn’t agonise over the morals of these stories, but I rarely read the story of Snow White. I didn’t like the Disney film and I’ve not been tempted to watch the more recent re-makes (although I’m probably not really the target audience anyway). I feel that subconsciously, my distaste for the tale stemmed from my antipathy for the Snow White character (she’s not a heroine), resentment for the resolution of the events (marriage) and frustration that there was nothing in the story I could relate to. My positive skills were: a super reading speed, making things, writing stories, being nice to people and remembering facts; not just being a pretty child with nothing to say.
Eric Winter’s illustrations in this edition are in the usual Ladybird style of the time. Yet, looking at them, I can’t help but feel they lack something of the liveliness and passion of some of the other fairytales from the same series of books. They feel flat and colourless; there is no single iconic image from this edition that everyone instantly recognises. Perhaps the illustrator also felt the antipathy for the story that I did and still do feel. We’ll never know, but it’s safe to say, that Snow White is not a story I will be encouraging my own daughter to visit in the future.
We’ve had a cracking couple of weeks at our house. Aidan seems to have had a reasonable amount of time off work so we’ve been away to Ludlow, we’ve sorted a few things out around the house, been to Vintage Village and I finally passed my driving test. Hurray!
Ludlow was my belated birthday present. I can’t remember if I mentioned the debaucle of our last attempt to get there which resulted in us being towed home… Anywho, we made it this time and had a wonderful couple of days away.
Corliss enjoyed being introduced to some ducks and sitting with her dad by the river:
Part of my birthday present was a ‘voucher’ for an hour off in the local book shop. Unfortunately, the bookshop in question, ‘Red Balloon Bookshop’ is closing down; luckily for me, it meant that my chosen book was 40% off. After much happy deliberation, I decided to go for ‘Island’ by Aldous Huxley. I’m halfway through ‘Brave New World‘ so this seemed a good one to continue with after I’ve finished reading that.
I think the pink and white striped bag makes it all the more fancy and exciting.
We had a really good walk around Ludlow and, despite the bizarre and very changeable weather, had a beautiful day. The day after we went to Leominster and spent most of the time avoiding the rain and looking round some of the many antiques shops there. We found a Louis Shabner print we’ve not seen before; actually, we found two but one was really faded and the colours looked strange. I wish I could remember the name of the antiques shop we bought our print from as it was really good, filled to the brim with interesting bits and bobs. We had quite a funny incident in one of the cafes when Aidan took Corliss to change her nappy in the toilet. In the stillness of the very quiet cafe, the three other patrons, cafe owner and I suddenly heard Aidan singing at the top of his voice, “I can see your bum-bum, your bum-bum, your bum-bum!” The lady who had entered the cafe after Aidan and Corliss had gone into the toilet… let’s just say her face was a picture. I just gave her a sheepish smile and muttered something about trying to distract our daughter from rolling over during a change. They certainly got some smiles when they reappeared.
I’ve spent a lot of time in the last couple of weeks knitting. We’ve got some friends who are expecting in September and October, then Corliss and her friend all start turning one around October and November. I’ve got grand plans for various things I want to knit for them all, so with my current speed, I need to get cracking, I’m trying to teach myself how to make pictures. This is what I’ve managed so far:
I used the Anouk dress pattern from Ravelry.com, with a few modifications; mainly because I couldn’t figure out the instructions for the shoulders! I started knitting this months ago, so it’s far too small to be a dress for Corliss now. Never mind! She can wear it as some kind of top. The main thing was to try knitting the pictures, and I’m quite pleased by how they turned out. There was a bit of unpicking but for a first try, I’m happy. Now that I’ve learned how to knit and passed my driving test, I’ve realised this means I’ve achieved my New Year resolutions of the last two years. I’ll have to think of a new one now. Any suggestions will be gratefully received!
Last weekend we went to the Vintage Village at Stockport’s Historic Market. We’ve been a couple of times before, and with nothing planned for Sunday, we decided to go at the last minute. I’m so glad we did! We took along a couple of pieces of West German pottery that we’d sold to our friends Alex and Alison. They have a fantastic stall there called snyggstyle - it’s made up of virtually everything we would want for ourselves! Alison has been learning how to make lampshades to fit the vintage bases and they look brilliant. I bought a couple of fabric remnants from her to use to make bibs from. I forgot to take a picture of their stall, but you can visit their Facebook group and see pictures from previous stalls they’ve done.
Apart from that, we bought a few vintage magazines: two ‘Woman’ magazines from the 1960s and a supplement from Homes and Garden about Finnish design. Now that is an interesting little booklet. I’ll scan a few pictures in from that at some point to show off as it features designers such as Marimekko and Ittala.
Right, my daughter is currently causing havoc so I’d better wrap this up pretty sharpish. We’re waiting on what looks like a whole crop of teeth to appear at the bottom (she’s still not cut any…) combined with frustration of not quite being able to crawl yet. Currently, she’s playing with her changing mat. All the toys in the world and the changing mat is what she wants. Well, what she really wants is my laptop cable and I can see she’s just about rolled her away across the room to get to it, so… until next time!