I am excited to have found the Lenox China factory in Kinston, North Carolina.
It is the ONLY fine bone china factory in the country…which is a little hard for me to believe… I will be sending them a letter this month to request a special tour of the factory.
Hopefully, it will be the first china factory that I visit over the next year an a half.
I hope to include:
This week has been a rich one!
Friends from all over the country have been connecting me to incredible media…
Either china or breaking related or both.
Thanks to David, Axwagon, Cyndi, and Amy!
David asked this question:
What would happen to teacups glued back together after they’ve broken?
Then answered it with this quote:
“You may see a cup of tea fall off a table and break into pieces on the floor
but you will never see the cup gather itself back together and jump back on the table. The increase of disorder or entropy is what distinguishes the past from the future giving a direction to time. I began to wonder what would happen when the universe stopped expanding and began to contract. Would we see broken cups gather themselves together on the floor and jump back onto the table? That seemed to me the universe would have to return to a smooth and ordered state when it re-collapsed. If this were so time would go backwards when the universe began to collapse. People in the contracting phase would live their lives backward. They would die before they were born and get younger as the universe got small again.”
Axwagon sent this scene from a from Roy Andersson film–Du levande (You, the Living, 2007).
the WHOLE table…
The Lenox China Company is running the following Facebook promotion:
A CONTEST YOU’LL FALL FOR! Every time the season changes, we’ll be launching a new contest just for our friends here on FB! Our Fall contest is designed to bring out the poet in all of us. Just pick out your favorite Lenox pattern (for ideas, visit www.lenox.com) and write a short (4 to 8 lines) poem about it, ending with the pattern name. Post your poems here, we will choose our favorites and the winners will get eight Lenox place settings in the pattern of their choice.
This is a link to their Facebook page.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE enter this contest!
And if you win you can donate your china to David and I…
We would like to someday some move up to filming the breaking of a full set of china.
We can immortalize your china for you!
(we will both be entering!)
I personally want to break a set of “Autumn”–it is in the TOP 25 at Replacements!!!
And Amy White turned us on to this song about breaking by Nick Lowe:
“I love the sound of breaking glass
Especially when I’m lonely
I need the noises of destruction
When there’s nothing new
Oh nothing new, sound of breaking glass.
I love the sound of breaking glass
Deep into the night
I love the sound of its condition
Flying all around
Oh all around, sound of breaking glass
Nothing new, sound of breaking glass…
Safe at last, sound of breaking glass.”
Very interesting week…
While at Replacements this time around, I was able to work with Jill Slatter.
She is their resident Etiquette Specialist.
You too can learn from her at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0Vbtc42fco
Thank you, Jill!
I visited Replacements again for three days in late August.
I spent most of my time living with around 25 to 30 examples of china, crystal, and flatware with a pattern name ‘Melissa’.
I figured out very early on that there is no ‘Melissa’ Haviland china.
This would have been the ideal candidate for ’self’ portraits.
I have happily settled for the range of patterns named ‘Melissa’ for the subjects of a series photographs and possibly drawings.
None are particularly entrancing, but they are all charming in their own way…
I was able to roam the showroom and storerooms of Replacements.
I compared shapes of gravy boats…
While at Replacements in May I was able to spend a significant amount of time with Haviland china…
During the week of May 10th, I was able to spend more time at Replacements. It was a very fruitful visit due to the generosity of Keith Winkler and his fellows within the company. I was on premises from 10am until 4pm Monday through Thursday. During this time I collected over 1,500 images of china, crystal and flatware.
I was excited to spend time walking the stacks in the warehouse and in the showroom. I came upon many of the top 25 patterns during my investigations. I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed Runnymede-Blue by Wedgewood. I was not at all interested in the pattern when experiencing the teacup on its own…but a table laid with Runnymede is lovely.
Is this the case with many of the patterns?
This is an interesting pattern for Replacements. It has always been a top seller for them. At one point Wedgewood decided to no longer make Runnymede-Blue. Replacements persuaded them to pull it out of retirement. It continues to be a top seller.
“We create, honor and preserve traditions by connecting our customers with their most cherished memories” Replacements, Ltd. motto
I was able to spend two 9-5 days at Replacements during Spring Break. Guided by my contact from the company, Keith Winkler, I was able to meet a number of the Replacements staff and begin to get a view into the workings of the business. I spent time with staff from the sales floor, research, purchasing, order processing, imaging, etc.
It is a large and successful retail business, so it is humming with life and energy. Most of the workers are long-term and very happy to be there. It is a very supportive and positive work place. And inspirational place in many ways.
During the last three hours of this first visit, I spent time with 25 teacups. These teacups represented the top 25 china patterns in LIFETIME sales at Replacements. By dollar amount. This means that the top seller, Spode’s “Christmas Tree”, which costs around $30 per teacup and saucer, had multiple tens of thousands of buyers. But Royal Copenhagen’s “Flora Danica”, which costs around $600 per teacup and saucer, would need only around a thousand buyers to come in at its 18th place.
This is the first time that I EVER held a $600 teacup.
And what an object it is. “Flora Danica” was BY FAR my favorite of the 25. Lighter and smaller then the rest. Delicately hand painted with a truly over the top amount of gold. Each piece of the china showcases a different flower, snaking around the surface…its latin name painted on the bottom of the piece with the back stamp.
In the Fall, I approached Replacements, Ltd. about the possibility of working with them as an Artist in Residence.
Founded in 1981 by Bob Page, Replacements, Ltd. is a distributor of china, flatware, crystal, etc.
They have over 13 million items in their stocks, representing over 300,000 patterns spanning over 100 years. Replacements buys and resells these items, pairing the buyer with the missing piece of their family china…
I have been referring to their website and purchasing items of china through them for about 5 years. In the summer of 2009, I began to visit their store front in Greensboro, North Carolina. They offer a tour of the facility, which after moments of experiencing–made me realize that I needed a deeper look…
The Replacements staff responded very positively to my inquiry, meeting with me in February to begin discussions of how this relationship could develop. I was then able to spend my first full days at their store in March 2010.
In 2009, I was fortunate enough to receive an
Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence award.
This award allowed me to create “Contemplating a Need for Indulgence”,
improve my studio space, and to assist me in acquiring the materials needed
to begin the current body of print work.
The current print series will debut in the exhibition “Brand” at the
Southern Graphics Council Conference in Philadelphia in March 2010.
Deep thanks to: