Monday’s bluejayblog featured four pieces of Shawnee pottery. Today I can show you how they’re used. At least how I use them. Some folks just clean up a vase or a planter then place it on a shelf. If the piece is delicate art pottery, I might do the same. However, I’d rather place something inside of the pot.
In the case of Shawnee, I picture a middle class or working class hobbyist of a bygone era using the vase to display some flowers. I doubt that folks just stopped at the local Woolworth’s, bought a planter, then placed it, empty, on a shelf.
This basketweave pattern urn planter with the confetti finished glaze might have been the choice of a florist from the late 1950s. In this case, my version of a 1950s style hospitality arrangement seems just the thing for the mid century piece. In fact, this would make a pleasing, cost effective, gift these days.
Wallpocket vases can be a bit tricky. The point is to have something eye-catching to adorn a wall. It can’t be too flashy or the householder will soon tire of it. Too drab, and it will be overlooked. I went for a modified floral spray, using plenty of evergreen sprigs. The poppy seems a bit bright from the strobe flash of my camera, but in normal room light, it comes off quite well. This bow styled piece could work well in a traditional 1950s or 1940s retro style room. I don’t think it would look good in a retro atomic or space age 1950s room. Maybe something styled like a boomerang shape filled with painted dry plantings. I need to find something like that.
Meanwhile, I do have a textured white with pink lined atomic styled Shawnee planter. Going with the retro-modern effect, a simple cushion cactus was my choice. The planter is deep enough for the cactus’ root system yet the “Y” shape frames the plant perfectly. I want to mention that you should use a plastic liner when using vintage pottery. The liner protects the glaze from the soil and water. Plus any seepage due to microscopic crazing is stopped; protecting your furniture.
Finally the smooth pink with random lines on the long atomic planter inspired me to do some extra homework. I wanted an arrangement with a 1950s radical avant-garde flare. My version of a 50s chic, tropical themed planting works with the size and proportions of the planter. I couldn’t resist posing a small 1950s crouching panther figurine with the finished arrangement. Are you inspired to try something like this too?
Many Shawnee pieces can be had at reasonable prices. Check estate sales, garage sales and thrift stores. There are some pricier Shawnee items as well. You might find one of them during your search. Here’s one of my all-time favorite Shawnee vases: This is a rare one, so I keep it on a wall shelf away from any possible mishap. It’s well suited to many types of treatments. Dried grasses are one way to use a mid-century cone vase.
Shawnee produced a large variety of product. You’re likely to find several of their pieces to your liking.
The Blue Jay of Happiness likes the dried grasses, too. For his nest.
Hey there – I saw the last vase in your blog post (the one with the stand). Does this vase have a name? I’ve been searching and searching for them online but can’t figure out what they’re officially called!
Thanks for noticing my favorite Shawnee piece. It’s a 12-inch cone vase in the “Elegance” line. This is an exceptionally rare vase. You might search for this or a similar one with a different glaze approach in the “Kashani” line. I acquired this by sheer luck and then much haggling. Good luck. Thanks for visiting.