One of the many joys of collecting old flower planters and vases is enjoying how they feel to the touch. The types of glazes used for these products can be interesting in a tactile way. The vast majority of flower containers have smooth, glossy glazes as a matter of necessity–they’re easier to keep clean. However, there are a few other finishes that feel “softer” and feature a more matte sheen.
The matte, textured glazes were stylish throughout the 1950s and early 1960s. Some of these glazes are synonymous with the mid 1950s and very early 1960s. There are three examples of such containers to see today. I created simple arrangements that compliment each pot.
The sand-color, footed Shawnee planter features a basketweave motif, the outside glaze is semi-matte. The tactile sensation reminds me of Rayon or some sort of Nylon automotive upholstery fabric. The container is very pleasant to hold. The interior is waterproof high-gloss white glaze. The posy is made up of my favorite, vintage artificial fill flowers.
The large, light-beige USA Pottery planter reminds me of the type of plastered walls used in old bungalows. Many of those walls were painted in semi-gloss enamel. The basic glaze is matte and the bumps are somewhat glossy. If you have ever run your hands across one of those old house walls, you’ll relate to the feel of this vase. To emphasize height, I decided to replant an orchid into the container.
The square-format Shawnee planter is my current favorite 1950s-style container. The abstract greenish color way is enhanced by its gloss black base. The interior is waterproof gloss lime-green glaze. This planter has the satisfying texture of very fine sandpaper. It is a delight to study with the fingers. The star of the arrangement is a coral specimen with turquoise highlights. Three coral-pink lilies complete the undersea theme.