Saturday, September 2, 2017

"Take time to reflect on how much you have,

It may not be all that you want but remember someone somewhere is dreaming to have what you have.”  
~Germany Kent

If nothing else connected with you this past week, surely the phrase "Houston, we have a problem" has another layer of meaning.  Do you know though that the phrase that was really spoken, initially by Command Module Pilot Jack Swigert, was "Ok, Houston, we've had a problem here" (emphasis added). The erroneous wording was popularized by the 1995 film Apollo 13, a dramatization of the Apollo 13 mission, in which actor Tom Hanks, portraying Mission Commander Jim Lovell, uses the commonly heard phrase which became one of the film's taglines.

That flooding does show you how quickly this stuff we have loses value compared to survival.  That is why I have said if I had to rename my shop, I would call it Just Stuff; however, people still are into stuff.  I had a customer today who said her sister collects "tole trays".
Interestingly, here is something that is labeled incorrectly.  According to my research, "Tole describes French painted tin wares, not American products."  From the French Tole Pente du Lac, tole painting refers to applying paint and lacquer to tin, and it began as a way to prevent common household objects from rusting. Tole refers to decorated tin and iron wares from 1700-1900; but most people also use the term to refer to various painted metalware from the late 19th to mid 20th Century.

The trays we most often associate with tole trace back to Welshman John Hanbury who had a metalware business in the late 1600’s and made tin trays that were very much wanted and sought after. Eventually, he shipped them to the US, and the style was copied by colonial tinsmiths, including Paul Revere. These antique trays had rolled over edges and soldered corners and were very light.

The 1940s and 1950s inspired the American Colonial Revival tradition, and the trays seen today are relics of that time painted by amateur artists using the “one stroke” technique with the paintbrush loaded with several colors at once.  Pierced borders are modeled after the English tradition of tin tea trays.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s, American companies like Plymouth, Nashco, and Fine Arts Studio produced trays that were hand painted in assembly line manner. These “studio trays” were beautiful, and painted by accomplished artists.

I read a hint from the daughter of the Plymouth Factory owner, and she said to preserve a tray, use clear spray lacquer paint, spraying a fast light coat with no drips and repeat 2 or 3 times.

So, remember tin, not tole...and pray that Houston's problems will not take a toll on them!

“You only truly possess that which you cannot lose in a shipwreck.”
   Al-Ghazali


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