Instead of “hangemalt” or hand painted ceramics, another method of getting artwork from print to pottery is called “transferware”. Click here to learn more about transferware (a process that the English developed in the mid 1700s).
I’ve used the term wrought iron to describe ornate iron gates and detailed iron objects.
The definition of “wrought” is something that is shaped by hammering with tools.
Most items that we refer to as wrought iron today is actually “cast” iron, where the molten iron is poured into molds.
Excerpt from a Wikepedia article:
As iron became more common, it became widely used for cooking utensils, stoves, grates, locks, hardware and other household uses.
From the beginning of the 19th century, wrought iron was being replaced by cast iron due to the latter’s lower cost. However, the English Arts and Crafts movement produced some excellent work in the middle of the 19th century.
Knowing this makes it more interesting to look at this gorgeous iron magazine holder I posted on my Etsy store today:
You can click on the image above to see more images of this beautiful magazine rack.
I love the design! I think the lines would fit in a variety of decor, especially in a mission style or for a modern arts and craft style home in need of the perfect magazine holder.
We still use our vintage Corningware petite casserole pans in the “Blue Cornflower” design made from Pyroceram, and I continue to see a variety of Corning Ware products with this design for sale on Etsy and EBay.
In the process of researching the difference between Corningware, Pyrex and Corelle (see previous post) I noticed that World Kitchens — who now owns these product lines — reintroduced this design in the 3L casserole size.
From their website:
And accompanying information about its features and the Pyroceram material…
While my little casseroles dishes were all made in the U.S.A., Information on the World Kitchen website Question & Answer section notes that the new ones are now made in France.
Is this a way to gauge the age of a collection?
While smaller sizes of the Blue cornflower pans are easier to find, the larger ones — like the one listed on my Etsy store below — are less common.
I wonder if the older era casseroles in this Blue Cornflower design will still be collectible, especially as other sizes are re-introduced…
The Pyrex brand and line of specialty glass for laboratory and kitchen use was introduced by Corning in 1915.
Here is interesting information about the history of Pyrex from the World Kitchen website:
Corning Ware / CorningWare®
Corning introduced the CorningWare brand in 1958, as cooking ware resistant to heat and shock.
Interestingly, it was a material discovered by accident by a researcher working in Corning’s R&D division.
Excerpt from a Wikipedia article:
In 1953 S. Donald Stookey of the Corning Research and Development Division discovered Pyroceram, a white glass-ceramic material capable of withstanding a thermal shock (sudden temperature change) of up to 450 °C (840 °F), by accident.
He was working with photosensitive glass and placed a piece into a furnace planning on heating it to 600 degrees Fahrenheit.
When he checked on his sample the furnace was at 900 degrees and the glass had turned milky white. He reached into the furnace with tongs to discard the sample and it slipped and hit the floor without shattering.
The material was used in the ballistic missile program as a heat-resistant material for nose cones. (More here)
The Corelle brand of tempered glass dishware and glassware was introduced by Corning in 1970. Made from a material called “Vitrelle”, it consisted of glass laminated into 3 layers.
One of the most challenging thing to do once you’ve set up shop in Etsy is to figure out
How to price your vintage objects
The language and description to add to your item listing
Until I set up my Etsy store, I didn’t know that Heath Ceramics, based in Sausalito, California were highly collectible. I bought the plates years ago because I liked the simple design, the look of the glaze and colors.
I also had many pieces from the Franciscan Pottery Company in the “Jamoca” line, as well as various plates and creamers from other Franciscan lines. Initially, I did not know that they were Franciscan. I just liked the colors and the shapes and picked up pieces here and there, over the years.
If writing is not your thing (I’m so-so at it) or you find it difficult to be creative with your words (as I do), then searching within Etsy to see how others describe similar items should get you inspired to write up descriptions for your first listing.
I’ve visited stores with very minimal words in their listings and some with long, super detailed descriptions.
I like information, so I tend to want to add more, rather than less.
I also think it is best to give your potential customer as much information to accompany the photos —- and leave it to them if they want to read the nitty gritty.
Along with looking within Etsy for similar products, you can do a Google search or search within EBay for product listing descriptions. If the company who made your product is still operating, then it is easy enough to get information simply by visiting their website.
Based on the information I gathered, I listed my Heath Ceramics Sea and Sand plates with the following description:
Classic and durable Heath ceramic dinner plates in beautiful Sea and Sand glaze, coupe shape.
The Heath company was founded in 1948 in Sausalito, California. They are known for their simple yet thoughtfully designed table ware.
The design and durability stands the test of time — thus becoming family heirlooms.
Many of founder Edith Heath’s original pieces are housed in permanent collections of modern art museums (MOMA and LACMA).
I thought it was a good start!
Getting a bit of history on the company made writing a description more fun, and for me, was an interesting process.
Next up were my Franciscan dinnerware items, and I posted this description:
love the Franciscan line of ceramic dinnerware in the “Jamoca” pattern.
The neutral, dark brown color can easily pair with your other tableware collection, and the golden yellow scrolls, filigree designs are very pretty.
Franciscan Ceramics started under California-based Gladding, Mcbean & Co., and was later purchased by Wedgwood, then the Waterford Glass Group.
Jamoca is a discontinued pattern.
The Etsy item listing manager allows you to “copy” an existing listing.
In the case of the Franciscan tableware, this was a great feature as I was able to just copy most of the listing for the dinner / salad plates / footed cups & saucers, with all the information and product tags I already created.
Very nice, and time-saving, especially if you have many pieces that you want to sell separately.
For collectible and known / popular dining and table top items, the website that sells replacement pieces is a good resource to get an idea of market price (and their availability) for pieces you are listing to sell. It is a terrific starting point for pricing.
I then checked EBay to see how many other sellers have the same or similar item for sale… what is their price?
And within Etsy, how many sellers already have the same item? What condition is it in? Is mine in better condition or less so?
Once I have done my research, I then price the items based on
what is available on line to replace these items
how many other listings there are, both on EBay and Etsy
And based on the condition and availability (is it rare?) I establish a price that I think is reasonable and fair.
Your thoughts? If you have tips to add on how to price your items, or additional ideas, please do comment.
I’ve set up the basics on my Etsy shop, such as the About, Info and Appearance and Shop Policies
I looked at shops that sell similar items I will list, and studied a few of the shops’ store policies to get an idea of how to craft my own
I picked an image to use on my shop, and created a basic logo with my shop name to upload to Etsy. This was a bit tricky because of the size requirements, so if you have a talented friend or family member to help you with a logo, it is best to ask.
I’ve opened up my shop by listing some of the ceramic plates that I’ve collected over the years.
Having an Etsy store seems like a great idea, as now I get to continue collecting, but with a new goal to curate objects specifically for my store and to compliment objects I already have.
I have friends who have set up stores on Etsy who told me it can be very hard, so I am prepared to dive in knowing I will need to put my time and dedication into this venture.
Knowing the work I will put into this, I also want to have fun in the process!
The good thing is I do not need a brick and mortar facility or employees (at least not yet) and I will work on my store on my own time and terms.
Plus… my market is the world! Well, technically, I’m only shipping to U.S. addresses at this point, at least until I figure out how to manage international shipments.
But… I am open 24/7. How cool is that?
It’s nice not to hassle with setting up an “E-Commerce” store because the Etsy site should have everything I need.
And I really, really like that I do not need to concern myself with the technical aspects of running an on-line shop on my own. Software upgrades, security, credit card and payment processing is all part of the Etsy package.