10 August 2017

Home Work: Mugs and Colors

We've been spending some time over the past few months doing some sprucing up around the SAR homestead. This has been a multifaceted endeavor, entailing everything from evaluating our assortment of drinking glasses and coffee mugs, to adding a couple of new pieces of storage furniture, to rearranging some of our living space.

It started innocently enough: I was in search of a replacement for one of our small Fiestaware plates that had gone missing. My Virgo mind likes order, and it bothered me that we had an odd number of small plates, but an even number of dinner plates and bowls. Also, it just bothered me that I couldn't find the other plate, or determine what had become of it.

We got quite a bit of Fiestaware as wedding gifts; we had chosen cobalt as the color we wanted and put it on our registry. (As an aside, I should point out that I was the one who chose most of the items on our registry, and subsequently was the one who went to the store and walked around with the scanner gun, because the Mrs. just wasn't interested.)

Eventually I clicked my way to the direct-sale website of Homer Laughlin, the company that has manufactured Fiestaware in Newell, West Virginia since 1936 (production ceased in late 1972, but was revived in 1986). I decided that it didn't make sense to order just one small plate, so I added two more dinner plates, which would allow us to stretch our dishwasher cycle a bit.

Before I finalized my order, I looked around the rest of the site. All the mugs that had come with the place settings had long been banished to the top shelf of our cupboard; we never use them, because they are kind of small and almost all our other mugs are around 15 ounces or larger. We'd recently had a conversation about getting rid of them, giving them to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Online I saw a newer, tapered mug design that I was not familiar with, in a 15-ounce size. I eyed the color choices, liking several of them. I added a few to my order.

A day or so later, I found myself thinking about the mugs that were on their way along with the plates. I wanted more colors of them. I found a big home sale going on at JCPenney, and with various discounts was able to order several more for around $9 each. A week or so later, everything had arrived and we had eight Fiestaware mugs in eight different colors: scarlet, slate, lapis, ivory, sage, lemongrass, poppy, and turquoise. I didn't get one in cobalt to match the plates and bowls, because I see the mugs as their own thing, separate and distinct from our dinnerware. I suppose I could still order one, but that would leave us with an odd number...
(Fiestaware is and has always been an American-made product, from a company still in the hands of family descended from its founders. Keep that in mind next time you're thinking about buying dinnerware, either for yourself or as a gift.)

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