Archive for the ‘collections’ Category

Creative Collections: Glass floats

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

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collection of vintage glass floats

We’ve chosen glass fishing floats for this week’s Creative Collections post – we love the subtle colour variations and irregularities in shape.

collection of vintage glass floats

Glass floats originated in Norway in about 1840. Christopher Faye, a Norwegian merchant, in collaboration with the Hadelands Glass Works, is credited with their invention. Early examples were hand blown, later the glass was injected into wooden moulds resulting in the faint seam line which can be seen on many examples. Modern replicas are also being produced.

collection of vintage glass floats

This is how they would have originally been used – encased with a twine netting holder. These would have then been attached to the large fishing nets & lines to keep mile after mile of them afloat in the sea. This is quite a basic form of holder, but the more elaborate antique examples crafted by the fishermen or their wives during long winter evenings can be a things of real beauty. Glass floats are no longer used having been replaced by plastic, aluminium or Styrofoam. However, thousands of the glass ones are still afloat, travelling along in the currents of the world’s oceans. They’re prized by beachcombers and used in interior decoration.

collection of vintage glass floats

They’re great for interior display – particularly the genuine older examples which have so much character. A collection looks great in a large bowl for example – and they look really fabulous on a window sill where the sun catches the glass and fills the room with coloured light and shadows.

Creative Collections: Vintage cups

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

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collection of vintage ceramic cups on an antique wooden rack

We’ve chosen vintage cups for this week’s Creative Collections post.

collection of vintage ceramic cups on an antique wooden rack

We often come across odd cups or part sets when we’re out & about. There’s certainly no need to leave them behind because it’s not a complete service. A cupboard full of mismatched crockery for day to day use looks great – or can form a fabulous shelf or wall display.

collection of vintage ceramic cups on an antique wooden rack

The amazing range of designs & colours makes cups the perfect choice for collection. You could concentrate on a particular subject – say flowers. Or a similar colour way. Or certain date era. Or a mad mix!

detail of an antique wooden rack

We have the perfect display piece for our little cup collection in the form of this rustic 19th century kitchen rack. It’s got unusual diagonal slats, studded with little iron hooks – and a shelf for overspill! We just love the patina & crackle of the old paint.

collection of vintage ceramic cups on an antique wooden rack

You’ll never run out of collecting material – the number of eye-catching cups is almost limitless – and they’re usually very affordable. Some collecting is about obtaining every single one of something that’s ever been made. That’s not the case here – pick up what you like the look of. There’s no rush – just enjoy the hunt. You could even enter into the dark, murky, mysterious world of mugs!

Creative Collections: Bobbins

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

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collection of vintage bobbins and spools of thread

What a load of old bobbins! :-)  Welcome to the second of our new series of Creative Collections posts.

collection of vintage bobbins

We love these old mill bobbins and think they make a lovely display for a craft room or similar. All the different shapes, sizes & materials work really well together to form an interesting collection.

collection of vintage bobbins from above

We’re in the right part of the world to pick them up, but they’re getting harder & harder to find – especially the brightly coloured ones with their original paint.

collection of vintage bobbins with string and threads

A single, large bobbin is great for storing ribbon or twine. It will earn its keep while you hunt for others!

Creative Collections: Display stands

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

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collection of vintage jewellery display stands

We have all kinds of collections dotted around our house – some are permanent fixtures, others just passing through. We’re not talking entire rooms dedicated to Star Wars or every beer bottle ever made. It’s more little groupings on shelves & tables. We either acquire them as a bulk purchase or pick up piece by piece over a number of years.

trio of vintage jewellery display stands trio of vintage jewellery display stands

One new installation is this fabulous group of vintage shop display stands we bought last week. Some are Art Deco, but most much earlier – Edwardian & Victorian. They are made of various metals; with chrome, brass and bronze examples.

detail of verdigris on the base of a vintage jewellery display stand

We love the variety in shape & size – and grouped together, they make a very sculptural display. They’re currently sitting on a table in the sun where the light picks up on the fabulous aged patina. Whilst we like looking at them and think they look good undecorated, we also feel they’d look amazing with either antique or contemporary jewellery. We can imagine them in a Whitby shop window bedecked in Gothic jet – or we have a nearby shop called Element who always make a great effort with their window display & staging. They would do something fabulous with brightly coloured modern resin or perspex pieces to juxtapose the vintage stands.

pair of vintage chrome jewellery display stands

The tallest stands 38cm and the shortest 8cm. Anyone interested in giving them a new life please get in touch – they’d be perfect for a shop, craft fair or market stall. We like looking at them, but we can’t keep everything and we do have to earn a living after all!

detailed view of a vintage jewellery display stand

We think these collections of objects are a great subject for a series of blogs, so there’ll be more posts to follow in the future. We’ve certainly got plenty of subject matter!

Watch this Space!

Friday, June 7th, 2013

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collection of vintage watch faces

You’ll find old watch faces & movements at almost every second hand market you visit – often in a box of mixed bits & pieces. They usually cost just a few pence and a large collection is easily accumulated.

collection of vintage watch faces in a pottery bowl

There are all kinds of ways to display them. We think they look great sitting in a bowl or glass – or perhaps arranged in an old printers tray.

collection of vintage watch faces in a vintage printer's tray

Take a peek in that 10p box next time you’re having a rummage!