We have our own language in the photo studio, words that carry a lot of weight behind a few syllables. One of those is "options". When a client is requesting options for a particular prop or set, I'd better be prepared with lots to choose from. It tells me they are not sure of direction at this point, but want to do some experimenting on set.
I have come to the conclusion that collecting my vintage props in multiples is much less of an obsession, and more in line with my tendency to have lots of options. So all concerned parties may now call off the intervention.
I have a pastry cloth from the 1950's (used in the baking tins post a few weeks ago) that I really like. The heavy cotton is warm in color, has nice texture, and blue stitching detail. I stumbled on the ones below, much earlier linens than the one I had. They have all the good features I mentioned above, but even better! The blue stitching is absolutely incredible. It is one of the reasons I love vintage kitchenalia so much. Even the most everyday items were embellished. The one with the red stitching is so heavy for the size of the fabric. It looks very much like old European linen, possibly French. Very tight weave, awesome texture. Both pieces look like they have never been used, but have that warmth that comes with age.
More cooling racks...because, you know, I had space on the shelf to fill since a couple moved to Aran at Cannelle et Vanille. Do I find these racks, or do they find me??? The variations in the pieces are really interesting, and I am seeing differences in the ones that have come over from Europe versus the ones from here in the U.S. The 2 rectangular ones are from the UK, I love the side rails on the one, and the little one has really tall feet for the proportionate size of the rack. The round piece has a tiny metal tag stating made in Belgium, and great little loops for feet.
Wood bowls can have the same wonderful character that you find in old cutting boards. I love the simplicity and warmth of these maple bowls, which just needed a light cleaning and mineral oil finish to bring out the richness of the bare wood. Many in my collection are from Munising, a company located here in the Midwest from 1911-1955. I like the plain styles, but they were big on tacky painted motifs and kitschy designs, too. The ones on the right were originally sealed, and the damage to the coating has produced some wonderful distress to the pieces. Wood pieces should never be soaked in water, and sometimes you will find bowls that are rough and porous from incorrect care. That makes them perfect for painting or staining, like I did to the one used in my heading banner, shown below.
On camera with photographer Annemarie Zelasko: Vintage Maple Bowl