Posted by Shawn on June 24, 2016
***This is a general interest blog article. Mod Livin' does not specialize in MCM dinnerware, and we do not typically have it in our vintage inventory.***
You have the MCM home and furnishings, now you need some vintage mid century modern dinnerware. There are so many different manufacturers of spectacular vintage dinnerware, and I am going to highlight just a small number. The nice thing about vintage dishware is that you can find it at thrift stores, antique stores, and online on eBay or Etsy. My personal favorite place to find complete sets is at estate sales. There are some highly sought after styles, which are more expensive, but you can find great retro and cool pieces for a bargain. Can't find a complete set? No problem. Mix and match them. It is your own unique style and makes a beautiful table setting.
Pictured above is the iconic Franciscan Starburst pattern. I KNOW. It is one of the most highly sought after and recognized patterns from the 1950's. Believe it or not, Franciscan Starburst used to be given away at grocery stores! Kind of like green stamps...remember those? As you shopped, you received credits and could use your credits to purchase this fantastic dishware! Starburst has a couple lesser known siblings, the geometric Oasis pattern, and the classic Eclipse White. Some examples:
The Oasis pattern is as striking as the Starburst pattern. I'm not really sure why it did not catch on. I am lucky enough to have both patterns, and I tend to bring out the Oasis more often that the Starburst. In fact, my Easter table was adorned with it, and it made me happy. I started collecting this stuff before everyone and their dog wanted it, which means I did not have to sell a kidney. It just wasn't that popular 20 years ago. Go figure.
The Eclipse White is strikingly modern, and incredibly hard to find. I had a few coffee mugs at one time, but that was all I could find. Unfortunately, because I USE my collectibles, the mugs are long gone. Raising 2 boys (3 if you count my husband), and 4 dogs mean a lot of things get broken.
Another iconic brand is the Metlox Freeform Line. The unique shapes and abstract design are reminiscent of a Calder Mobile. There are 3 colorations and patterns. My personal favorite is the Contempora pattern. It is very difficult to find a complete set, but as you can see from my small collection they work really well together.
Do you want to see something AMAZING? Check out the Ridgeway "Homemaker" dinner ware. I would die a happy gal if I had some of this stuff. I've never even seen it in the wild. The retro furniture stylings and crisp black and white coloration make me want to cry. Seriously.
If you are on a budget, and these seem out of reach, don't despair! There are affordable, and equally cool, manufacturers out there, and they are much easier to find. I'll share a couple of my personal favorites, but do a little bit of research and you will find so many others. And, as I said earlier....no need to freak out if you can't find an entire collection - mix and match to your retro heart's content.
Heavenly Days! Absolutely. Tired of turquoise? (GASP!) Have no fear....Vernonware's Tickled Pink is the lovely pink version of Heavenly Days:
I love the Salem NorthStar pattern. It is still relatively easy to find. Every time I stop in the thrift store I find a piece of it. It is a really sweet pattern and can easily be dressed up for a more formal affair.
The Russell Wright American Modern Dinnerware is easy to find and comes in so many different colors! The number of pieces available in this collection is staggering. You will find items you didn't know existed, and never knew you needed! Bauer Pottery is still making many of these classic designs.
Here is a picture of my Heywood Wakefield hutch. It is filled to the brim with a fraction of my dinnerware collection (attics are a lovely thing). Excuse the bad lighting and dust. As you can see....multiple manufacturers and multiple patterns really do look great together! Oh...and those fab pineapple pieces are Tropicana by Metlox :-).
You have now been inspired to set a fantastic mid century modern table. Crack open that vintage Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book and get busy! You know the one....with the red and white cover :-). Imagine how lovely the Tomato-Ham Buffet Ring will look on your mid mod dinner ware!