Yes, I’m going to show you pictures of dishes today. I know: exciting! Don’t be salty.
The mirco-mini-odyssey was a blast — a blast of heat, initially, as we discovered upon arriving at the Homer Laughlin China Company that our shopping would be done outside, on a sunny-but-sweltering 85-degree day with absolutely no breeze. We weren’t dressed for the occasion by a long shot. But hey, we got a great 2-hour workout in the process, so thumbs up.
Undoubtedly, the best part was netting around 40 pieces of Fiesta dinnerware — by our calculation, a little over $500 retail — for $95 and change. Success. Of course, these were “seconds,” and each one has what we consider to be extremely minor flaws (a slight color interruption, a small indentation or tiny bump in the surface…all things that make them “art” to me), so the prices were excellent from the get-go. For instance, I found a huge pasta bowl for $11 that retails for $64. Those are the kinds of discounts we dealt with all morning. Sure made it a lot more fun to shop, even for the Thriller, who functioned as QC manager for the expedition.
The fun was tempered by effort, however. If you’re going to do this, arrive prepared to work. As the pictures show, presentation is not the priority here. HLC knows you want this stuff, so they’re going to make you earn those outrageous deals. Fortunately for us, we unknowingly chose the best day for this venture, as their big “Tent Sale” had just concluded the day before, and in an effort to schlep back inside as few pieces as possible, they gave us tent sale prices, plus another 25% off. Score!
Why all this fuss about dishes, you say? I suppose for me it’s mostly about artistic tradition, and the good old American way. Laughlin has provided jobs for professional potters for decades; I respect that. The Laughlin story is interesting, too. With few exceptions, this is a hand-hewn product, made in the USA. West Virginia can be proud. We’re definitely going back another day, preferably right after their next tent sale in October.
OK, the photos. Click on the first one, and you can arrow through the rest. ¡Olé!