Saturday, March 19, 2011

Vintage Crocks, Ringware and Stoneware Bowls Farmhouse Chic is Here to Stay

vintage ringware bowls
Can you tell which bowls are vintage and which are reproductions? Read on and find the answer at the bottom of article. 

For those of you who aren't into ringware or stoneware, or those old vegetable crocks, once you see their functionality in the kitchen, you just may be!   I will be the first to admit,  I wasn't a big fan of chunky ceramics. In fact I associated most old primitives with dull yellows, dirty looking creams, or browns which turned me off.  Over time I began to love them. Collecting them can be fun, exciting and a bit of a mystery. Like the orange bowl below, much older pottery is not marked, and may only show the marks of industrial manufacturing of yesteryear. Some may leave us with many questions as to their origin.
Orange ringware Bowl
MoxieDeluxe offers this orange ringware bowl for $60
nice ringware crock
Whippoorwheel offers this great bowl from the USA for $25!

Whippoorwheel explains, "This crock is a beautiful representation of Americana. I can see it full of big red apples or festive fall gourds on the center of your table or center island. Pretty two tone colors of blue and cream set it apart."   I would have to agree, this bowl has minor flaws, but the price is right to hold your vegetables, notions, or fruits on the counter just perfectly. It is also odd to see ringware on the bottom, and handles on the side, making this bowl a ooak find!

    old crock bowl ringware mixing bowl
    Old Crazed Granny Bowl $22 at VintageStarrBeads
I don't mind buying an old bowl that may have crazing, age wear,  or have minor chips or cracks when in fact they will only be used for display of potatoes, onions, bananas, or apples. These are the ones to be had for the best pricing and have the best history. the or minor cracked up bowl.   Diehard collectors may think that's just crazy, (and of course they aren't going to gain value) but I think these are the bowls with the most character, history, and that can be had for the best bargain prices. For a fraction of a "mint condition" bowl, I won't mind if it suffers an accidental mishap down the road.

ringware bauer bowl
I love my old stoneware bowls and crocks. Imperfectly perfect is okay with me.  See my mother's famous meatball recipe HERE.

As for the early primitive colors, I used to think if crockery was brown, it should be put down and left on the shelf at the thrift store or flea market for someone else to adopt. I no longer think this is the case, because I've grown to love the way in which the items were made, you can't get thick bowls like this one below anymore...
primitive crock
This bowl, for $15 is a steal at 5girls09s on Etsy.
This bowl would look great with bright Vidalia onions or Granny Smith apples in it! Mix and match the neutrals and off colors with the vibrant brights for a great display!  Magazines like Country Living, Martha Stewart, and Southern Living often use stoneware bowls in their articles. I can see this bowl full of fresh chives out of my garden, the bright green against the dirt brown would look au' naturale! (I've even seen bowls like this holding colorful yarn balls once and it looked fab.)

old crocks great for storage clay crock
Revival Style offers these Bauer Crocks, and ringware, crocks, and bowls in her shop.

The above crocks are just perfect for storing potatoes or onions in your kitchen. The thick ceramic keeps the vegetables cool and prolongs their life.  It also saves you room in the fridge.  The ones above are in cool off white, versus the normal browns you often see.  They are a bright and attractive addition to your kitchen.  If you don't have room there,  they also serve well as magazine holders in the living room, or to hold umbrellas by your front door.

Gorgeous Yellow Crock Bowl
The best part of old bowls is you never know what colors you will find. This beautiful one is a bargain at $20 from thefarmerswifect

$TIP$ To achieve total Farmhouse Chic on a budget, start with some less desirable colors and make them look beautiful with what you put in them. Get artistic! Fresh cut flowers from the garden or herbs laying inside or across old brown bowls would look lovely. Cream or shabby muted bowls that appear a bit dingy and less desirable will look lovely holding red apples or red onions. You can use your imagination and spice up any old bowl into something grand. Chipped up or slightly crazed finds may serve as good fill ins until you can afford better examples, and who knows, you may grow to love them as much as their former owners did.  

Buyer Beware: If you are looking for true VINTAGE stoneware mixing bowls or crocks do your research as some are being reproduced today.  In fact, I've seen a few repros floating around that could easily fool any of us.  Check out this page at the Bauer Pottery company, where you can look at their nesting bowls which strongly resemble the ones of yesteryear and are available in most sizes!  

Roseville Pottery is making "oven / microwave safe" reproductions of their bowls, in fact, in the very first photo of this article, the large cream bowl with blue ring is a newer repro. Luckily I was able to tell when I realized that older vintage bowls were not microwave safe!   Walmart has  many stoneware mixing bowls that look old, but newer reproductions may have keywords like "MADE IN CHINA" or "MICROWAVE SAFE" to tip you off.

Old Vintage Kitchen 1927
This was my kitchen in my old house, now long gone. I miss it.  Circa 1927

Fiesta by Homer Laughlin is of course still offering their stoneware bowls and dinnerware today, and I use plenty of them in my kitchen. I have to say that my Fiesta casseroles are the best, (round, and new small individual size). They go right in the oven and I find with a little Pam they don't stick like Pyrex or other vintage cookware does.

Hubby is a chef and cooks in nothing else than my Fiesta Pie Bakers and Casseroles.  So it is we mix the old in with the new, leaving shabby vintage bowls to adorn my kitchen full of fruits and vegetables.  Sometimes, a vintage girl can mix some new in with the old for a good effect.♥

Last Updated 12.2.18

What do you collect? Drop me a line and let me know.

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