Because so much of my paycheque goes to travel, I'm a bit cheap when it comes to housewares. I don't have many kitchen gadgets and although I do buy wine glasses frequently, that's to replace all those that get knocked over, chipped, or in some way abused. Wine glasses are such tippy things.
So I wasn't terribly surprised to recently realize that my dishware is pretty old and not that attractive. In fact, on reflection, it struck me that most of my tableware was bought in the mid-1980s. I believe they were produced by Johnstone Bros.,purveyors of fine dishware for active families, or something like that -- a type of almost indestructible dishes which are not all that different from CorningWare.
Not that there's anything wrong with CorningWare. But perhaps it's time for me to upgrade. I mean, I'm eating off of these things every day, and maybe it would be nice to have something beautiful to look at beneath my Cheerios. I don't have kids or cats and I don't break dishes all that often, so the time may be right for a change.
Besides, what better way to bring some of Italy's beauty and art back into my home, than through beautiful, yet practical items that I can use every day?
Extra motivation has also arrived in the form of photos that I see on other blogs, particularly on Jerry's and Palma's blogs, of meals they have prepared and served on stunning Deruta ceramics. And since I'll be returning to Umbria in September, what better time to shop for some fabulous new place settings?
My decision has come at a good time, in that it will probably take me a few months to get my head around the price of Deruta ceramics. A very quick look on the Internet shows that I won't be buying four full place settings for the equivalent of $99 (which is what I think I paid for my current dishes.) So, I need to get used to the idea that I may be spending something closer to about $500. At least, that's what preliminary research is suggesting. I'm not even sure what all I need to buy, or want to buy.
Some questions: Would it be better to buy several place settings in a gorgeous pattern (I like the blues with yellow lemons) Or, is it better to mix patterns? Instead of place settings, should I just buy new bowls and plates and leave it at that? Or, just buy platters and serving dishes? What's the best ceramics to buy, and where? And is it best to have things shipped back to Canada, rather than try to carry it myself?
Clearly, I have many questions and the more research I do now, and the more comfortable I will be when I go back to Umbria, in terms of what I should look for and what to avoid (Indeed, I'll also need time to become more comfortable with the idea of spending on something other than necessities!)
Any ideas/tips/opinions on shopping for ceramics would be very much appreciated!