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Blair ceramics circa1949 "Gay Plaid" square set

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Posted 4 years ago


(565 items)

I eat off white plates but over the years I've had some interesting 40's and 50's dinnerware - and sold them all except for this square plaid set. I forgot it was called "Gay Plaid" there's a few items on ebay right now. Square, gay and plaid all at the same time - why not!

Blair Ceramics, Inc. 1940's-50's: William Blair studied at the Clevelend School of Art and then studied in Europe. He returned to Ohio and apprenticed in ceramics. In an attempt to persuade potteries to change their conventional ways, he contacted major potteries but was rebuffed. "Stick to your painting, sonny," they said. His view of American dinnerware was that it needed a "general overhauling." "It's downright immoral," Blair was quoted in 1949. "You see, most American dinnerware today is made by machine on an assembly line, in about the same patterns that have been used for a generation or more. To change their recipes a bit, the manufacturers buy up a few floral designs and paste them willy-nilly on the same old pitchers and plates." He went on to say, "Then these designs are stamped on over the finished pieces, instead of being baked permanently into the clay base, and after a few months of use, they wear off. All you've got left is a stack of clay slabs. Might as well eat off of a pie tin."

I found 20 pieces in CA in the 90's and didn't think I'd have a problem finding more - wrong - a little harder than I thought 10 yrs later in NM found another 25. I have dinner, sandwich, & dessert plates, the coffee pot w/cream & sugar, handle soup bowl and wonderful square a LOT of square coffee cups w/saucers.

Always hard to find the plates because they were used everyday and broke. That's why I only have 4. Marked "Blair, decorated by hand"

Hope you enjoy - Val


  1. SEAN68 SEAN68, 4 years ago
    Beautiful set:)
  2. valentino97 valentino97, 4 years ago
    Thank you Sean!
  3. tom61375, 4 years ago
    Very nice collection and documentation! Love it!
  4. inky inky, 4 years ago
    Very cool! them...:-)
  5. DrFluffy DrFluffy, 4 years ago
    It's super cool...
  6. valentino97 valentino97, 4 years ago
    Thank you tom, inky and Nadia for your comments. Thanks for the love of this gay set: kevin, belltown, Leah, agh, amber, smiata, mike and mani!
  7. valentino97 valentino97, 4 years ago
    Gay plaid and square could be an interesting t-shirt graphic motif.
  8. valentino97 valentino97, 4 years ago
    True....could be hard to join all 3 and make sense....hmm, I'll think about it for awhile and if I can come up w/something will I have to pass it by the Blair Ceramics Co.?
  9. valentino97 valentino97, 4 years ago
    Thank you Lee, Geo and Phil for your love....
  10. DrFluffy DrFluffy, 4 years ago
    Hey Val... This is featured on CW's Facebook today.
  11. valentino97 valentino97, 4 years ago
    Thanks Nadia - I am so old school tech-wise but now I will expand to the Facebook world! Thank you!
  12. AmberRose AmberRose, 4 years ago
    Hiya Val, I see bits and pieces around. Want me to keep an eye out fit for plates? And?
  13. valentino97 valentino97, 4 years ago
    Amber - THANKS ! I am most interested in plates and platters and as cheap as can be found.

    Anything you want me to hunt for besides our favorite funky mosaic stuff?
  14. AmberRose AmberRose, 4 years ago
    I only go cheap honey. West German fat lavas are my new boyfriend now. But not only can I not find them cheap, I just don't see them. It's the process of the hunt...
  15. valentino97 valentino97, 4 years ago
    Thank you - and remind me what a West German fat lava is - just in case it somehow is in my path.
  16. AmberRose AmberRose, 4 years ago

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