Saturday, July 24, 2010

Retro Saturday

To all you vintage and retro buffs, today I'd like to show you two of my favourite pieces. I got one of them in PEI last week (the casserole dish, Pyrex)....much to my surprise I must say! The other (the mug, Fire King) I got in Maine a few years ago.

It's called Gay Fad. Didn't know too much about it, other than it was hand-painted by a company in the USA.

Found this online:
Gay Fad Studios
When I first started researching Gay Fad, the earliest reference I found was an excerpt from a 1949 book by Polly Webster, How to Make Money at Home. In Chapter 4:, Money in Your Hands, this fascinating little tidbit appeared:
Her friends said she was foolhardy, but that didn't stop an Ohio woman who, ten years ago, gave up dress designing and bought twelve dozen tin wastebaskets for thirty dollars. She went to work painting them with bright oil paints and opened the Gay Fad Studio. Today she grosses several thousand dollars each year with her painted glass and tin trays, canisters, and bowls. The Gay Fad Studio is big business that grew out of a simple idea; but remember, it got its start as a home industry ten years ago when enamel painting was new. Today such painting is a fairly widespread pin-money venture. But women who have specialized in one article have been able to make a living at it.
Fran TaylorWow!! But why couldn’t Polly tell us the name of this early female entrepreneur??? That mystery was solved when a lovely lady named Pat sent us an email identifying her aunt, Fran Taylor, as the founder of Gay Fad Studios. At the time she first wrote to us, Pat had a mystery of her own to solve, and this led to a positively amazing series of emails, a heartwarming family reunion, and extensive discussions about Fran Taylor and Gay Fad Studios. By now, we practically have a blog and it just keeps growing! It’s great reading that you’re sure to enjoy, so click here. Pat even steered me to a Women’s History website where I found this picture of Fran and the bio written by  her daughter Stephanie.
Fran Taylor worked from home from 1938-1945 hand decorating those wastebaskets and other tin items, as well as an ever increasing number of glass pieces. She opened Gay Fad Studios in Lancaster, Ohio, in 1945, and for the next 18 years Gay Fad was one of the best known and most prolific decorating companies in the country. Pin money venture?? Hardly! Fran and her staff did extensive decorating work on “blanks” purchased from Anchor Hocking, Hazel Atlas, Federal Glass, and Imperial Glass, among others. However, few of the Gay Fad pieces were marked (many carried paper labels that were immediatelytaken off or became lost over the years), and this has led to a great deal of confusion as to which pieces were actually decorated by Gay Fad and which were decorated by other companies in the “Gay Fad style.” On the marked pieces, I’ve found four versions of the Gay Fad signature so far and there may be others. The mark, however, seems to be consistent, an interlocking G and backward F in whatever color coordinated with the overall design.
Fran Taylor was an amazingly talented and versatile artist and her pieces run the gamut from colorful fruits and flowers to people and cartoon characters to geometrics to 2-color state souvenir glasses to elaborate full-color Currier & Ives scenes. All are beautiful and all are eagerly sought after by collectors today. Here at the Trading Post we continue to seek out Gay Fad pieces that demonstrate Fran Taylor’s wide range of artistic endeavors. She and her family have become very special to us. Enjoy!

I would love to go to that Gay Fad Exhibit in Lancaster, Ohio this summer. If any of you bloggers are near there and go, let me know what you thought.

I haven't seen any Gay Fad for years around here until last week and it got me interested again. I'll be keeping my eyes wide open for it. I like the bright colours and the 'human touch' each piece has.

After looking at the above web site, I realized I may have a few more pieces of Gay Fad , frosted juice pitcher and glasses with pineapples painted on them.......just have to find them now in a box in the basement! And then determine if they are 'true' Gay Fad.

Anywho, something else to look for.

Also found and bought two more items at the same place in PEI ......... a converted church turned Antiques and Collectibles shop.

Since Sophie is part Poodle I couldn't resist these S & P's. Cute eh? No identification marks to be seen.

Then this stenciled enameled pot.

I like enamel-ware and this was from Shanghai, China and labeled Bon Voyage ware. Whatever that is.

That's it for this Retro Saturday. Hope you are having a great weekend all! 

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