I just love these glass covered metal pieces. If you’ve read my earlier posts about Kitchen Collections, Blue and White Dishes or When Old is New Again you already understand why I am drawn to these dishes.
Most Enamelware is utilitarian in nature, but I find it very attractive as well. Enamelware is made in many designs, patterns and colors. These go by a variety of names as well. The gray pieces are called Graniteware. Spatterware (also a name give to a style of pottery) Speckleware and Agateware are types of Enamelware as well. The most common colors are light or dark blue with white specks. Some of the Enamelware is plain white with a blue or black rim and some pieces are white with a design added to it. The pieces I collect are mostly the blue and white combination. I’ve also seen red and green with white flecks or specks. I’ve read about many other colors but have not seen them myself.
You may be familiar with some of the more common items; turkey roasters,
canning kettles, pasta and lobster pots and camping cookware. Incidentally,
the old metal coffee percolators work just as well on a woodstove as they
do over a campfire.
I have been collecting these old pieces for years. They were not expensive when new, and the vintage, dinged-up pieces I have picked up along the way, are not very pricey either. It’s a fun hobby and most of the pieces are still useful. If they have rust or an actual hole in them, I use them with a bowl or bottle inside to hold flowers or plants.
I love to use the plates, of which I have several different versions, for either away-from-home or at-home picnics.
Recently, I have noticed a resurgence of interest in these pieces. Certain catalogs and some country stores now carry recreations of the old patterns. I have picked up a few newer pieces to round out my collection of well-used pieces. The bowls come in a great variety of sizes and unlike heavier earthenware bowls, they are relatively lightweight. They are great for making bread when you don’t have to keep the dough warm (as in a drafty winter kitchen). I often use my larger bowls to hold pasta salads and chips at large gatherings where food is served.
When I head to the garden to gather produce, I often grab one of these strong but lightweight vessels.
I’ve bought a couple of Enamelware pitchers at yard sales in the distant past. Both are in pretty good shape but have rust stains inside. I fill a milk bottle or tumbler with flowers in water and set it inside the pitchers. Very pretty and made functional once again.
Being a collector of blue and white pottery dishes, I enjoy mixing and matching the enamelware pieces with those for a very down-to-earth and country look. These are one of the few, old-time pieces still frequently found at rummage sales for a pretty reasonable price.