Monday, 29 June 2015

Musings on Retro China with yay retro!

A few weeks ago, I spoke to the lovely Sue from yay retro! about Peace, Love & Daisy Chains, our motivations, our hire collection and our favourite pieces for sale on the yay retro! online site. You can read the article here.

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to yay retro! yay retro! is my go-to place to find and salivate over those special pieces that crown my collection, those pieces which can't be found with my usual rummages. 

I bought the wonderful Barker Bros Springtime cups and saucers, plates and milk jug from yay retro! and duly added them to the hire collection. Ever since they have attracted admiring and covetous glances.

Without further ado, let's chat to Sue! 

Sue's interest in retro china began some time before she founded yay retro!:

'The first piece of retro china I ever bought would have been a jug of some sort back in the 80s, I have a ‘thing’ about jugs…so many different shapes, sizes and thicknesses with an array of handle and spout designs -they are visually appealing and almost like mini sculptures to me! They are infinitely useful as well as decorative and can be used in the kitchen or as ornaments around the home.'

I agree with Sue that jugs are just wonderful - they can hold milk, or gravy or sauce! Here is that fabulous Barker Bros jug in full glory:

'The first piece I sold at yay retro! was a vintage cheese board covered in bright daisy patterns, I can even recall the date and who bought it on 4th August 2012!' 

Sue began began collecting Poole Pottery in earnest back in 2012, after finding a 'wonderful minimally shaped 1930s cheese dish of theirs, during my quest I amassed lots of other vintage pieces of tableware. My husband and son run a web design company and built me the yay retro! website as a birthday present, so that I could sell my vintage treasure online. I haven’t looked back, it is now my full time job. 

'I send vintage wares all over the world, from South Kensington to South Korea. My favourite 1960s Figgjo Flint pieces, such as the Anne-Marie and Daisy patterns often end up being repatriated to Norway, and are also very popular with collectors in Japan. Australia is a popular destination for Poole Pottery and 1960s Flower Power designs, but of course my biggest customer base is in the UK, where I have lots of brilliant regular and repeat customers.'

The Figgjo Flint Daisy and Anne-Marie designs
As with all good vintage retailers, vintage is not just consigned to the day job, but a passion and way of life:

'I love to cook and to have the whole family over for dinner, when we are all together there are 10 of us. The table always has vintage serving dishes and plates. Currently I am using 1950s Empire Shetland pastel blue check plates, with sky blue Poole Pottery. For cooking I use vintage enamelware and a variety of Norwegian ceramics such as the Daisy pattern from Egersund, Norway.'

Egersund Daisy pattern and 70s Daisy teaset (which we also have for hire)
In the few years that yay retro! has been retailing, Sue has seen a distinct shift in trends:

'When I started up yay retro! a few years ago, lots of people were ‘into’ pretty roses on 1930/40s china, now the bold Flower Power designs of the 60s and 70s have definitely taken over, and there are many, many more people collecting. Bright Scandinavian designs on both fabric and table-wares are definitely the most sought after and drooled over pieces! The good thing is that with such bold patterns, you can buy one or two statement pieces and they will shine in your modern vintage home. 

'Grey and Yellow has become a stylish colour scheme in the home recently, and so yellow vintage-wares have also become very desirable.

'The most popular items in the yay retro! shop change from year to year to be honest. When I started out in 2012 Pyrex and Gaydon Melamine tea sets were the ‘thing’. Now I rarely buy these brands in as they don’t ‘go’ as well. Right now, anything with huge bright daisy patterns, or Scandi bird or fish designs are sure to be snapped up by collectors. Spice and storage jars are also sought after. 

Figgjo Astrid and Worcesterware Spire

With regards to her own personal collection, Sue would like to add a 'classic piece of mid-century furniture. A minimally designed armchair covered in pale grey fabric with bright yellow daisy cushions. I am still looking for the ‘optimum chair’ but may cheat with a look-a-like from IKEA! 

'The 1960s and 70s time period has the most influence on the way I have decorated my home – It’s very minimal with bright colour accents & patterns here and there. I was born in the early 60s and can remember most of what I sell at yay retro! being used in my parents and grandparent’s homes. I have wonderful memories of growing up in this era, and so being surrounded by vintage homewares of this period gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. In my kitchen I have a vintage kitchen unit made in 1953, which is just like the one my Nan had – it’s even the same colour. This is where I keep all my vintage china which of course I use every day.' 

Finally, Sue says that if given a chance, 'I would go back to the summer of 1968 to walk along a country lane in Wiltshire in the sunshine spotting primroses with my wonderful Gran – my most treasured memory.' 

Do take a look at the wonderful items for sale on yay retro! - I would be very surprised if you left empty handed! I particularly love the latest addition to the shop - flower power cushions - wouldn't these make a brilliant, bright alternative to ivory seat cushions at a wedding?

yay retro! also has a wonderful 'retropedia' of articles about various different potteries and collections which is a treasure trove of information for anyone wanting to learn more about vintage china.

Figgjo Clupea and Scandi Cushion

If you would like a taste of retro or to add a flower power vibe to your wedding, party or event but can't commit to accruing a large collection of items, then take a look at our extensive hire collection of retro 60s and 70s china and props - we have enough china to serve dinner or afternoon tea to 160 people, as well as pineapple ice buckets, crochet blankets and picnic baskets!

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