As I’ve mentioned, I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to dishes/china/plates/pottery/and the like. Perhaps because they combine beauty with functionality, I am a magpie about them. When the price is right? I can pretty much always justify adding to my collection. One of my favorite patterns?
Free Form, by Metlox PoppyTrail California. This pattern was produced in the 1950’s in 3 colorways: Free Form, Mobile, and Contempora. (Same design, but filled in with different colors. Contempora used gray, black, turquoise, and fuchsia; Mobile used turquoise, purple, yellow, and fuchsia; Free Form used the combination of brown, chartreuse, turquoise and yellow you can see above.) All are pretty awesome, but I particularly love the color combination used in the Free Form variation.
My collection actually started with a few pieces in the Mobile colorway that I found for a song at a thrift store. Lucky find, because this stuff isn’t usually super cheap*. Here and there, at a positively glacial pace (maybe a piece every 2 or 3 years) I’ve added to my collection, tightening my focus to Free Form version. I drool and dream about the carafe, the pitcher, and the boomerang bowl from this line. Very rarely, they turn up on eBay, but always with starting prices ranging from $150-$400. Ouch. I hope that someday the yard sale gods will smile upon me! Until then, I quite enjoy the few pieces I have.
Here’s a cup and saucer in the Free Form pattern, and an amazing teapot from the late, great Kahiki. The Kahiki was an old-school, compeletely fabulous , kitschy, themed-out Polynesian restaurant in Columbus, OH. Sunday brunches there were really something special. It opened in 1961 and closed in 2000. RIP, Kahiki.
* A caveat concerning my definition of “expensive”. I am a frugal collector. The Mobile pieces with which I started my collection? $2.50 a piece at the thrift store. So, for me, when the combined price and shipping for a plate or bit of china on eBay or whatever goes over about $15-$20, that gets to be awfully hard to justify.