When I turned 21, I started collecting Fiesta, also known as Fiestaware in some circles, but to the true collector (and according to Wiki), it’s just Fiesta. It’s dinnerware — plates, bowls, mugs, cups, serving dishes and, more recently, bakeware.
I had always wanted to start my own Fiesta collection. Growing up in Western Pennsylvania, my parents’ farm was 8.9 miles from the Newell, WV home of the Homer Laughlin China Company. My parents didn’t really collect it, though they had a few pieces. My grandma didn’t really like it, and I still maintain it’s because the dinnerware became popular during the Depression. Most who lived the Depression aren’t quick to embrace things that came of it. Whatever the case, my parents and grandparents helped me start my collection of Plum Fiesta when I was 21-years-old.
Or, in other words, 10 years ago.
I loved my Plum Fiesta. And then a couple of years later, I met the man I would marry. It’s not that he didn’t like the Plum color (which is purple for those of you who view colors in singular groups and not shades of), he just didn’t care one way or the other. The Plum Fiesta moved into our first apartment with us and followed us to our first home. Most recently, it followed us to our second home which, prior to unpacking the kitchen boxes, I was afraid the wide plates wouldn’t fit on the shelf. They do.
Even before we bought this house, I knew I would do my next kitchen and dining room in gray, white and yellow. I’ve been lusting after the color combination for quite some time. Once I started a Pinterest board, there was no going back. I imagined grand plans of refinishing the hutch that my Grandpa built in the 70′s in a bright, bold yellow. I saw chevron yellow and white curtains. I saw fun artwork in various shades of yellow.
I did not see Plum dishes.
Alas, it is my lucky year all around. Not only did we buy a new house in which we are slowly making the kitchen and dining room look like the dreams of my pins, but Fiesta released a new color this year — Marigold. It’s the 75th Anniversary color. It’s lovely. Absolutely lovely.
Problem? It retires 75 weeks after it was released, meaning that production ends in September 2012. I never do things the easy way, do I?
I had been wanting to change colors of Fiesta for awhile. I had repainted my kitchen at the old house a lovely brown at one point and considered going with Chocolate Fiesta. I never moved on that idea, and I’m glad. Once I fell for my yellow, white and gray color scheme, everything kind of fell into place. A random sale made me choose between two shades of yellow Fiesta: Sunflower (light, “country” yellow) and Marigold (slightly more orange undertones and much, much brighter) sight unseen (minus some flickr searching). It arrived and, oh, I fell in love. Now I’m in a mad rush to get eight place settings and as much of the serving ware and accessories as I can possibly find between now and then.
I purchased two five-piece place settings (cup and saucer > coffee mug) and the famous Fiesta pitcher recently. Then I put everyone on notice: I am officially collecting Marigold Fiesta. In fact, after the discussion I had with my grandma, she got in her car and drove to the factory to pick me up a spoon rest, salt and pepper shakers, a platter, a butter dish and a gravy boat. Those are actually Christmas presents, but she couldn’t buy them and not tell me because I would have picked them up myself. Grandma is smart, even if she thinks Fiesta is too heavy. (As an aside to that, I broke one piece in ten years. ONE!) For my birthday, my mother-in-law gifted me with a lovely oval serving bowl. I seem to be coming along nicely.
Next weekend I’m meeting some of my Pittsburgh friends for lunch and to
raid visit the Factory Outlet Store in West Virginia. I’m mainly concerned with place settings and bigger serving pieces at this point.
As far as the Plum goes, I’ve been packing away place settings and sending them to the basement as I get new ones. Right now, I have Plum and Marigold side by side in the cabinets, which is very royal and regal and almost quite Mardis Gras! (Just add some Shamrock.)
I can’t get rid of my Plum. It’s a part of me. And, to be honest, if I only change dinnerware once every ten years, I’m doing pretty darn well — according to both my grandmother and my mother-in-law! The Plum will be pulled out for use when I feel like it, just like my never officially released Sugar Plum Fairy comes out for Christmas and still will, even in a yellow, gray and white dining room. (Remind me to blog that one some day. Should be a hit!)
As Plum retires (in our house) and Marigold takes its place, I’m quite pleased with the way our kitchen and dining room are coming along. We still have work to do: the cabinets need refinished, the hutch needs refinished, we do eventually want to replace the floors with laminate and I have absolutely nothing on the walls yet. But things are coming along — slowly… as new houses do. I must say though, that I love my new curtains and my new Marigold Fiesta so very, very much. Tell me they weren’t made for each other:
Ten years ago I started with Plum. I had no idea that ten years later I would be switching to a color that didn’t exist at the time. I also had no idea I’d be living in a house with one husband, two sons and no pets. Of course, ten years ago I made the really bad hair dye decision of black and my favorite color was pink. I think it’s safe to say that I’m a slightly different person now.
I still don’t know how to use an iron… so that’s the same. But that’s why I married a man in the military, I suppose! I wonder what color will strike my fancy in ten years. Or if I’ll know how to iron yet.
Do you collect Fiesta? What colors do you have? Or want?
PS: The Factory website has been redesigned. Amazon links are through the Affiliates program.