Sunday, January 18, 2009
Many, many years ago, a friend and I found our way into an antique shop in an old hen house way out in the country. I had recently acquired several old pieces of furniture -a Bentwood baby cradle, an oak icebox, an oak chest of drawers, and a round, oak table. These were a start in furnishing my first apartment. I favored oak and began the search for more furniture to round out a basic wardrobe for my first home.
Everything that was of interest to me in that antique shop was out of my price range, so I just poked around, waiting for my friend to finish her transaction. What I found, and ended up carrying out the door, was an old cookie jar. Everyone needs one of those on the kitchen counter, right? I purchased an old McCoy Mammy cookie jar for a couple of dollars and have used it now for over 30 years for...cookies. I could hear when one of the kids had their hand in the cookie jar because the top was impossible to replace without that familiar clink of pottery.
I bought my first McCoy vase at Sister's Garden almost ten years ago. It's the pink one in the foto above. Ever since, I have been finding a pot here and there, never paying more than a dollar or two. I've never used them to pot any growing thing, but since starting school, I stand my pens and colored pencils in several of my favorite ones. The pink one holds my many pair of peepers!
The Nelson McCoy Sanitary Stoneware Company was formed in 1910 in Roseville, Ohio because of the abundant clay and an experienced workforce that knew how to manufacture earthenware. The product line consisted of functional items such as jars, jugs and crockery, but also poultry fountains and foot warmers. Because of the success of the company early on, the McCoy family ventured into specialty art pottery for the upper middle class. They produced umbrella stands, vases, and jardinières. Designers and artisans were hired to meet the growing demand for these decorative products. The company used blended glazes of earthy tones that highlighted their designs of leaf and berry motifs. McCoy pots are collectibles now. I recently spotted a pink McCoy vase with a bird motif that was selling for $30! But keep your eyes open-McCoy pots turn up at garbage sales for pocket change.