I kind of have a thing for mid-century cookware. It started about seven years ago when I came across a bunch of it in a vintage furniture store near my house. All the pieces were vibrantly colored, many with enamel surfaces, cool decorative patterns, and illustrative prints. The cookware seemed to possess everything I loved about good design, and at a much lower price than the Eames chair I was coveting. I’d never seen anything close to this coming from Calphalon or All-Clad. I was hooked. After that, I began scouring flea markets and the local Goodwill hoping to find the perfect teacup, platter, or serving bowl to center my kitchen around.
Today, it’s not so much a shot in the dark for me. I’ve learned what to look for: I favor Japanese, Scandinavian, and Dutch designs (though I do also love vintage Pyrex), and by doing tons of research online and in books, I’ve come to learn the names of the designers I like or the look of a particular stamp of authenticity. I’ve also stayed out of vintage furniture shops, avoiding their way-high markups. Like other people who are vintage obsessed, I’ve become best friends with eBay, Etsy, and flea markets.
From time to time, I’ll be sharing some of the cookware designers that I’ve fallen for over the years. It seems appropriate to start with Cathrineholm of Norway since my first purchase was a single blue stockpot from its Lotus collection. Not surprisingly, Cathrineholm is the gateway drug for many enamel cookware collectors. Looking at some of leiferik2008’s collection here, it’s easy to see why.
And if you’re still looking for holiday gifts, vintage cookware is worth considering—if you find it on eBay or at a flea markets it’s cheap, and it’s green because you’re reusing instead of purchasing something new.