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Lori’s Vintage Skittle and Mashers

February 15, 2012

Every week on Lori Langille’s blog, Automatism, she features a post called “Buffet,” It is literally a feast of links to fantastic articles on a variety of subjects. Each careful, thoughtful compilation of articles is so well done, if I can’t get to them right away I save the Buffet posts to come to read later. I’m so excited to share Lori’s equally thoughtful Sentimental Salvage today.

When Erin was kind enough to invite me to contribute a post to her lovely Sentimental Salvage series, I was enthusiastic about the idea but unsure about what to write about. And then I turned around and there it was, sitting in a glass vase on a little Danish teak table in my living room — my small mixed collection of vintage potato mashers and a solitary skittle.

The skittle is from an antique shop on Portobello Road, discovered while on a trip to London several years ago. Each time I look at it I recall the proprietor of the shop, who was a sweet and shy man — he had a sign above his tiny counter that read, “All prices are final as the owner is not emotionally equipped to haggle.”

The potato mashers are mid to late 19th and early 20th century pieces, purchased from etsy. What attracted me to them was much the same as what attracted me to the skittle — the subtle beauty of these utilitarian objects, with their warm wood tones made richer by the patina of time. I like to think of how these mashers have been used by women for generations to prepare meals for their loved ones, their edges gradually becoming rounded through daily use.

Looking at vintage household items like these, I find myself appreciating the skill of the long forgotten craftspeople who made these simple objects by hand, and how they took pride in their work, often bringing a refined sense of design to the humblest kitchen tool. And so I display them as art objects in my living room, where they now rest, admired for their quiet beauty.

Images via Automatism

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