June 1, 2008

When I was a child my parents had a set of plates, bowls and cups made by Stangl Pottery. Made of dark red clay, glazed and fired. They all had a distinct handpainted pattern on them. When I see this pattern I am reminded of home and childhood. Some time during my teenage years they replaced the set with another set of dishes which was more durable. When I moved out in early adulthood I took with me a few plates and a bowl from the Stangl set, but didn’t know what had happened to the rest of them. I figured the folks probably donated them to a church fundraiser.

This was until last year when some repair work was being done on their house’s foundation. I was helping move stuff out of the basement so the workmen could get to the walls. On the floor in the corner of an old room that had been closed off for decades was a large cardboard box which was almost totally rotted away. In the box was the whole set of Stangl dishes!! I felt like I found buried treasure, and the folks said I could have it all. Like any good packrat I meticuluously cleaned them, then ran them through a dishwasher to sterilize them. I bought some special “dishsaver” moving boxes with styrofoam plastic envelopes and packed them all away in boxes.

Because of this big reduction project I’m doing, it’s time to look at these boxes again. Instead of hanging onto everything, I want to only keep what I will likely use. After all I am a single person and don’t need 12 teacups and saucers. My first idea was to keep five of everything and sell the rest. They are all scratched and chipped to some degree, but I tried to pick out the five best cups, saucers, large plates, small plates, bowls, etc. When that was done I had only 2 large plates and 2 medium plates that were in good condition, and only 3 bowls. Lots of small plates and cups. I kept them stacked up on a table for a couple of days. When looking over the row of cups, five of them just seemed to be too many. Kind of a gut reaction. So I removed one. The four cups did seem to be the right amount to me. Not really based on anything but a feeling. So then the rule became “no more than four of any one thing”. The result is a nice small collection of usable dishware that I can probably repack into one banker’s box.

Now I have to find a buyer for the excess. Maybe at an antique store? Craigslist?

One Response to “Dinnerware”

  1. simplydeviant Says:

    I hear you on this one. I had a set of 8, but I also have a husband and two kids. Now that only one is left at home I cut the set down to 6 and once she leaves I plan to cut it down to 4 for the two of us.

    I don’t understand why some people have more than one set of dishes…my parents have about 4 different sets and those are 8-10 piece sets with dinner plates, bowls, dessert plates, tea cups with saucers, soup toureens, serving bowls etc. Gives me a headache just thinking about it!

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