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September 28, 2015

Pastoral Motifs, Rustic Designs

The warm colors of the rooster and sunflowers in the Certified International Sunrise design contrast beautifully with a cobalt blue background - this is a stunning pattern! With his gloriously colored plumage and his boisterous "cock-a-doodle-do!" at the break of day, the rooster has been celebrated for centuries in painting and text. Sunrise was designed for Certified International by renowned folk artist Susan Winget. Winget is a resident of North Carolina and a recipient of a fine arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She began her work in 1982, selling watercolor prints. At the time, she hoped to make enough money to help support her family and stay home with her children. Today, her art is a part of furniture, cards, calendars, children's books, and dinnerware. Her spirited, fun, and casual style consistently reflects an appreciation for wonderful bucolic scenes - whether a duck swimming in a placid pond, a rural village, or perched roosters, Winget provides a fresh and distinctive take on traditional folk art.

Iris-Amber, a bold blown glass pattern produced by Artland Crystal, features a delightful air bubble design and a vibrant amber color. This eye-catching glassware design serves as the perfect complement to the provincial Sunrise china and the understated Dorado stainless patterns. The floral namesake of this dazzling glassware has an interesting history of its own. The word "iris" is derived from the Greek word for "rainbow," and for good reason - there are over 300 classified species of irises in a vast array of colors. Iris rhizomes have historically been used to produce medicine and perfume, and various parts of the iris are also used to provide flavor and color to several brands of gin. The beauty of the iris flower has inspired many artists through the years, perhaps most notably in a series of iconic paintings by Vincent van Gogh. In addition, the decorative fleur-de-lis symbol is thought to be a depiction of an iris flower in bloom.

Reed & Barton's Dorado is a gorgeous stainless pattern that features a beveled edge, a rounded tip, and a hammered, glossy finish. Dorado is emblematic of its maker, Reed & Barton of Taunton, MA, a company that traces its origins to a jewelry store founded by Isaac Babbitt in 1822. After changes in ownership, the company began to use the "Reed & Barton" stamp on its silver in the 1840s. One of Reed & Barton's best-known patterns is Francis I. Introduced in 1907, Francis I quickly became a favorite of nobility and presidents. No less than four U.S. presidents dined with Francis I - Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Gerald Ford. In more recent years, the company has also been recognized for its high-quality stainless steel patterns, like the Dorado pattern featured here.

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