¡Fiesta!

23 June, 2015
Rat Fink

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!

Built in 1905, and noisy as all get-out because of the steel grate surface, the Newell Bridge from Ohio into West Virginia cost 75 cents -- a dollar if you're going both ways.

Built in 1905, and noisy as all get-out because of the steel grate surface, the Newell Bridge from East Liverpool, Ohio into West Virginia costs 75 cents to cross, or a buck for a round trip.

The clay-filled Ohio River, viewed from the Laughlin back lot.

The clay-filled Ohio River, viewed from the Laughlin back lot.

This was our shopping space. Two long "aisles" of goodies -- about a million pieces to choose from, all stacked in bins on pallets.

This was our shopping space. Two long “aisles” of goodies — about a million pieces to choose from, all stacked in bins on pallets.

We brought a couple of towels to wipe down the china, as the pieces are pretty dusty. Here's the Thriller, doing a quality check while getting a sunburn.

We brought a couple of towels to wipe down the china, as the pieces are pretty dusty. Here’s the Thriller, doing a quality check while getting a sunburn.

No shopping carts; just milk  crates.

The “presentation” aspect.

Shopping carts? We got your shopping carts right here.

Shopping carts? We got your shopping carts right here.

The factory store is located just opposite of where we shopped outside. We took our stuff into the air-conditioned retreat to pay. Upgrade on the presentation, for sure. Prices are not discounted in the pretty part.

The factory store is located just opposite of where we shopped outside. We took our stuff into the air-conditioned retreat to pay. Upgrade on the presentation, for sure. Prices are not discounted in the pretty part.

Place settings were available in every current color (many shades have been discontinued, making them extremely valuable).

Place settings were available in every current color (many shades have been discontinued, making them extremely valuable — I was tres disappointed there were no “Chocolate” pieces available at the factory).

Beautiful colors, seriously. Interesting note: Fiestaware is vitrified china, which means that, unlike many ceramic dishes, if it chips, the chipped surface will be the color of the pottery, and not white.

Beautiful colors, seriously. Interesting note: Fiestaware is vitrified china, which means that unlike many ceramic dishes, if it chips, the chipped surface will be the color of the pottery, and not white.

This is what we brought home. I'm really happy with all of it, and on many of the pieces, it's near-impossible to tell where the flaws are.

This is what we brought home. I’m really happy with all of it, and on many of the pieces, it’s near-impossible to tell where the flaws are.

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RD
RD
23 June, 2015 12:18 pm

Glad that, even though it was HOT, you had a fun, profitable time. I hope the AC in your car was working :) Being able to purchase $500 worth for $95 is the my kind of deal. However, We are in down sizing mode, so I’m not telling Bonnie about this.

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Suzanne
Suzanne
23 June, 2015 1:47 pm

Whoa SCORE!!! I love it all, so pretty!! How did it go at the casino, win enough to cover costs??

Meanwhile, we are on vacation and spent a lot of money today on a pergola and garden chairs so when the
nice weather EVER arrives we can enjoy it in comfort. Friday overnighter to Amsterdam, next week to Le Tour!
Slow down vacation SLOW DOWN!

<3 **hugs**

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Suzanne
Suzanne
24 June, 2015 11:51 am
Reply to  Rat Fink

The Pergola arrives Thursday and I don’t know if we will get it set up before we head out to A’dam. But I will definitely have pics!

We are going to the lovely Dutch town of Utrecht for the beginning of Le Tour. We are looking forward to it!

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David
David
24 June, 2015 12:25 am

I love “gangas,” we shop for them all the time. My first thought seeing the pics of Laughlin was “Sweet Jesus I am so lucky I do not live close.” I would never get Liz to leave…ever! It would be best if we never speak of this place in her presence.

Glad you and The Thriller had a great day trip…I love short roadies! Peace Ms Finkster

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