Archive for the ‘collections’ Category
Cold here. Last week we reached a low of -25 (degrees Centigrade). As I watched the weather statistics I saw that the record for coldest weather for the day had been in 1973. The date whisked me back to my first winter in university. I barely recall those days, but I do remember hurrying back and forth across campus from class to class and the brown scarf I knit that year to keep my face from freezing.
To remember other cold weather, I just look at the winter garland of children’s socks and mitts strung across our chimney.
The red socks and little blue mittens hanging there were knit by my grandmother almost sixty years ago. We would have worn them on many bitter days spent in the cold Alberta winter. I remember my Mom wrapping our heads with multiple wool scarves, held in place by safety pins (long before the days of fleece and high performance fibres).
The green glove on the line warps me forward in time to the 1980’s when my son was in elementary school and the three-fingered Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were all the rage. I knit three-fingered gloves for him for three winters, as fast as they were lost. The single green glove on the chimney line is the only one that has survived.
When the days and nights are cold, I still knit. Today, I knit socks to keep me warm both during the knitting and the wearing.
Cold weather? Bring it on! I have knitting needles and a skein of yarn!
Among my prized possessions is a set of old fashioned walking toys. Made in Hong Kong of hard, painted plastic, these three charmers walk without the benefit of batteries or electricity. Put them on an inclined surface and just watch! Their little legs swing in synchrony and carry them along.
Do you have any of the toys from your childhood Christmases?
Copyright 2014 Jane Tims
One of my favorite collections is my odd set of bright orange-red Tomato Ware dishes.
They are usually marked ‘Made in Occupied Japan’ or ‘Made in Japan’ and were made in the late 1940s and the 1950s. Two of my pieces are marked Maruhon Ware (with a K surrounded by a circle). Maruhon Ware was made from the 1920s to 1950s. ‘Made in Occupied Japan’ means the piece was made from 1945 to 1952.
The pieces in my collection are shaped like tomatoes (I have one set of salt and peppers shaped like long peppers). They are glazed pottery, coloured in an over-bright green and an orangy red. Most have green leaves as decorations, clasping the base of handles or teapot spouts. My collection is in good shape, the only flaws being a large chip out of the spout of one teapot and a broken handle on one creamer.
2 jam pots
3 teapots (one marked with the K surrounded by a circle)
3 pair cream and sugars
1 pair cream and sugar with a tray, and one lone creamer
1 set of salt and peppers
1 set of salt and papers with a tray
1 set of salt and peppers on a tray with a basket handle (belonged to my mother)
1 lone salt shaker
1 set of pepper-shaped salt and peppers
2 tea cups and saucers (both marked Maruhon Ware)
The dishes are very bright and provide an accent color for my very green living room.
Do you have any pieces of Tomato Ware?
Copyright Jane Tims 2013
Dresser jars have always been an interest of mine. You often see them at antique stores and at auctions.
My Mom had an iridescent peach-colored dresser jar with a glass terrier on top and a pink-colored dresser jar with a young deer.
My collection of dresser jars is one of my favorite possessions. The collection includes several dresser jars of a type made in the 1930s to 1950s (by the Jeannette Glass Company). They are all round, made with clear or iridescent glass. They were used as jars for women’s dressers, to hold powder.
I have four young deer (or ‘Bambi’) dresser jars, two iridescent peach-colored, one pink and one clear…
three swans, one green, one blue-green green and one amber (the swans have a cut-glass base and a hollow in their backs to hold lipstick)… I also have a clear swan, top only…
two terrier dog dresser jars, both peach-colored and iridescent…
and one poodle dresser jar, peach-colored and iridescent…
This year, I added an elephant dresser jar made of clear glass to my collection.
Do you know of any other designs in this type of dresser jar?
Copyright Jane Tims 2013
Today, I cleaned my collection of glass animals. Cleaning them takes a long time since I don’t clean them often. I wash each piece in soapy water and air dry it on a towel. As I work, I enjoy their sparkle and I think about how I got each piece. Since most of them are second-hand, I think about the unknown people who owned them before me.
Most of the animals in my collection belong in one of three categories: covered dishes, candle holders and dresser jars. A couple of the pieces belonged to my Mom. A couple of them are pieces she gave me as gifts. The rest, I found over the years at antique stores or auctions.
The covered dishes are mostly hens or chickens…
My favorite hen dish is a funny round chicken in clear glass…
I also have a rabbit in this collection…
and a duck…
I have a few glass birds of various colors. Each bird has a berry in its beak, and a hollow in its back to hold a candle…
I’ll show you some of my dresser jars in the next post.
Do you have a hen dish among your dishes?
Parting the Collection
to collect: to gather together
of glass and light
took a lifetime
what will become of them
when what becomes of me?
collect: a short prayer
from a mouth like dust
I bid for each
between Limoges and Occupied Japan
with a steady hand
and a palpitating heart
feathers pressed into glass
bird in the house
at the window
edge of flight
from the menagerie
lenses rise in your throat
burst from your beak
as a berry
past and future
shards of glass
do not understand
do not know
rises in your beak
Published as ‘Parting the Collection’, The Antigonish Review 95, Autumn 1993
Copyright Jane Tims 2013
I hope you had a lovely Christmas Day.
For me, Christmas is not just a single day, but a celebration lasting until Epiphany (January 6). So, I keep all my decorations up until then (including the tree if it doesn’t get too dry).
One of my favorite decorations is my set of Buyers Choice carolers. These two are enjoying Boxing Day, toasting marshmallows and singing by the fire.
Copyright Jane Tims 2012