What are some parts of a Ceramic piece?

When it comes to a ceramic piece, you can hear some pretty interesting vocabulary words that describe what it’s made of.  Here are some of the words that I have heard over the years:

Bisque – this is clay that has been fired once, and it is an unglazed piece.

Terra Cotta – it is a brownish-orange earthenware clay body.  It’s commonly used for ceramic sculpture or even architectural ornament.  It’s an Italian word that means “baked earth”.

High Relief—it’s a strongly raised or even deeply carved pattern.  This style of carving can get pretty detailed.

There are a lot of words that you will hear that describe what a ceramic piece is made of, or even a specific part of an item.  What kinds of words have you heard?

That’s a Catalina pottery vase made by Gladding McBean!

When out shopping at a local flea market, I ran across this terrific pottery vase that is marked CATALINA POTTERY C-333 MADE IN USA.

The vase has the Calla Lilly pattern on it, and it was made from 1937 to 1942 by the Gladding McBean Company.

When you see the mark on the bottom of the vase, you think it is for CATALINA ISLAND POTTERY made from 1927 to 1933. A good rule of thumb to use is if it just says POTTERY and does not have the word ISLAND, it’s made by Gladding McBean.

One great thing about this vase is the fact that the top of the vase is not too small so that it doesn’t strangle your favorite flowers.  Not only that, but it would also look wonderful on any table.

You can see this terrific vase in my Etsy store here. Have you ever run across anything like this?

When a piece goes from functional to just plain cool

Pottery and glassware are fun areas to get into and collect, especially since they can be very cool and functional at the same time.  It could be something for the kitchen, the table or even the fireplace mantle!  It always surprises me what I run into, especially when it’s something like this clock.


This very functional electric Royal Oxford Gibraltar clock that dates to the 1920’s.  Not only does it sit pretty close to the wall, it doesn’t take up too much room on the mantle so that you can put a lot of picture frames around it on the mantle.

You can see this great clock in my Etsy store here, and another great item for the mantle is a football shaped clock featuring the Dallas Cowboys.  You can find a post about the lamp on this blog here.  Another still very functional item is this great ice bucket.


It features the TEA ROOM pattern and was made by the Indiana Glass Company from 1926 to 1931.  The great thing about it is that it can double as a flower vase as well.  You can see the terrific ice bucket in my Etsy store here.

What kinds of items have you run across like this?

The perfect gift for a Dallas Cowboys fan is a . . . lamp?

The great thing about going to an estate sale or auction is that you never really know what you will find.  I was out shopping not too long ago, and found something that any Dallas Cowboys fan would love.  Not only that, it would look great in either a man-cave or a bedroom.


The lamp is made of ceramic, and the light bulb looks like the wattage is not to terribly high (so this lamp would be great as a night light).


What is cool about it is that it’s in the shape of a football—and you can also use this to shine a light on who your favorite team is.

You can see this great gift idea in my Etsy store here.  You can also see six more out-of-the-box ideas for a Christmas gift here.

What kinds of fun gifts have you received over the years?

More pottery vocabulary words for the beginning collector

When you dive into the world of antiques and collectibles, you will find out how things are made.  Here’s some of the words that I’ve picked up over the years about how pottery is made:

Greenhouse—this is the place where pots are kept to harden before they go into the kiln.

Feathering—this is an effect that’s obtained by moving a feather through wet slip decoration.

Salt glaze—this is an effect by throwing salt into the kiln when pottery is being fired.  The salt vaporizes during the firing and a fine orange peel surface is left on the pottery.

What kinds of words have you run across when you are out at your favorite place to shop?

Great vocabulary words to remember for the antiques lover

It doesn’t take very long for you to hear some interesting words when you deal with antiques.  They could apply to just about anything, here’s some of them that I have run across.

Lavabo—this is a French word that means “wash bowl.”

Nesting tables—this is a group of tables (there’s usually three, every once in a while there’s more) that is constructed so that one fits under the other.

Tin glaze—it’s an opaque white glaze that contains tin oxide.  It has been used on faience, delftwares and even majolica pottery.

This is only a small portion of the words that I have heard over the years.  What kinds of words have you come across?

Here’s some more vocabulary words that new collectors will run across

You never know what words you may run across when you dive into the world of antiques and collectibles.  Here are a couple that I have run across over the years:

Greenware—this is any unfired clay body before the piece is Bisque Fired, and it is very fragile.

Cased Glass—this is two or more layers of different colored glass get blown with one layer over the other.  Sometimes glass makers carve images into the glass, revealing the multiple layers and colors of glass in the process.

Mercury Gilding–this is a technique of applying a gilt finish consisting of gold and mercury to decorative objects like a mirror.  Mercury is a metal that is liquid at room temperature. When combined with gold or silver, it becomes viscous, its consistency becoming similar to that of butter. Mercury gilding is the process in which mercury is mixed with gold to make an amalgam that is applied to the surface of an object.  When the object is heated up by fire, the mercury evaporates away and the gold is left behind.  This is a VERY toxic technique and is illegal to do in many countries.

This is just a small sample of what I have heard, what kinds of words have you run across?

Political collectibles of all sorts

In an election year, politics is one of our main topics of conversation.  Political buttons, banners, pins and even hats boasting the name of a current candidate are everywhere.

Collecting older political memorabilia is a fun way to remember our past—and you can find examples at many flea markets, antique stores, or even auctions.

I recently acquired a Frankoma Donkey mug from 1977 advertising the Carter and Mondale campaign.  It was a great find—even more so since we are in the middle of another political season.


You can see this terrific mug in my Etsy shop here.  Another area that you can run across are paper related items.

paper political

This could be photographs, invitations to an event, or even a print of a famous painting.  I have a lot like this on eBay, which you can see here.

What kinds of political items have you run across?

I need some reader’s help with identifying this set!

At an estate sale last month, I purchased this really cool pottery shaker and creamer set. The matching figural set looks like a lion to me.  I could be wrong–with their styling, they could be a number of items.


What I need some help with is who and when the two pieces were made. They are not marked anywhere on the pieces.

I have seen several pieces that have the same color combination that are from Japan, but never anything with this shape (I’ve even seen some Chinese pieces also with the same color combination).

The colors look to me like they could be by the OLD CASTLE Company, and their shape look makes me think that they are by SEISEI POTTERY Company.  As you can seem I am at a real loss on this set.


Any information is greatly appreciated on this.  Do you know what they are and who could have possibly made this?


May flowers bring great deals!

The old saying “April showers bring May flowers” is very true.  But why not bring some of those flowers inside—with the kind that don’t need any watering.

Floral prints can be seen on a wide variety of items.  It could be a pottery vase, a serving piece, a piece of jewelry, or even a piece of glassware.  What’s better are the floral prints that even come on fabric.

A great piece of pottery with this is this piece of Hull pottery vase with the ROSELLA pattern.

Vintage Hull Art Pottery 1940s Ceramic Vase With ROSELLA Pattern Pink Background With White Flowers

The vase was made in the 1940’s, and can be seen in my Etsy shop here.  Another great item with a floral motif is this china hand painted Made In Japan chocolate pot.

Vintage MORIAGE Hand Painted Made In Japan Chocolate Pot 1920s Floral On White Porcelain Gold Trim

The 1920’s serving piece can be seen in my Etsy shop here.  Jewelry is another area that has pieces with a floral motif.  Like many other areas, there’s a ton of choices that have a floral motif, and one of the choices is this pin.

Vintage Enamel Daisy Flower Shaped Pin Or Brooch White Pedals Yellow Center 1960s Unmarked

The great thing that this white enamel pin has going for it is that it can go with just about any outfit, weather it’s casual or dressy.  You can see the pin in my Etsy shop here.

There are plenty of items with floral motifs on them.  What have you run across?