70s brutalism

Diana salt & pepper shakers
made in Australia, 1970s

Further to the Diana pottery from the 40s and 50s recently discussed- meet some Diana from the 70s! This range is called ‘Safari’.

Earthen tones [tick] brutalist, oversize shape [tick] chunky form devoid of decoration [tick.] This is the 70s alright!

I have also collected the teapot, and creamer in Safari: but like a lot of 70s ware, I find less is less. It is possible to have too much of a good thing. However- if you are a big fan of the 70s [ie: you didn’t actually have to live through that time] you may like to consider the teapot and creamer.

The brutalist salt and pepper shakers are for sale: $AU25

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70s die cast model

Fun Ho! die cast ‘midget’ scale road roller
made in New Zealand 1972

Today for your interest, dear reader: a ‘midget scale die cast road roller, by Fun Ho! It’s not an exaggeration to say I collected this roller primarily due to the fantastic maker’s name: Fun Ho!

Vintage die cast models are very collectable- especially if ‘new’, and in their original box. This specimen is ‘play worn’, but otherwise intact [driver present, axles working, paint colour vibrant.] This is an exact replica of the road rollers that graded roads in the 70s, marked as #37 in the Fun Ho! series.

I’ve teamed the roller with a resin Dinosaur Designs bangle: to give scale to the roller, but also because of the colour and the repetition of the circles in the frame. Vintage Dinosaur Designs resin jewellery is also now collectable.

The Fun Ho! road roller is for sale : $AU20

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70s flowers

Flower bouquet cross stitch
made in Australia 1970s

My son Oscar [Gen Y] likens cross stitch to ‘pixel art’ and I can see his point. He is also my photographer- so as we style my collection for images to post to the blog he lets me know what he likes and absolutely DOESN’T like.

He is the child of two designers- so naturally has a firm opinion on my collection. Which I applaud and learn from; I love his interpretation of things made before he was born. I unfortunately lived through the 70s and 80s in Australia- the time that design forgot – and so sometimes have a less rosy view.

But- I love this tapestry with its stylized botanical specimens of Delphiniums and Poppies; crafted in Australian wool on hand-printed gauze; Oscar likes it because it’s a strong graphic representation of pixel art.

And I love it for another reason: I have a friend who intends to fill an entire wall of her house with found and reclaimed tapestries; I think this could be included. If it were me, they’d all be botanical in nature.

The 70s flowers cross stitch is professionally mounted and framed, ready to hang- and is for sale:  $AUD45

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Gempo canister [sold]

Gempo kitchen canister
made in Japan 1970s

Gempo pottery – like much of the 70s- is having a resurgence at the moment. Gempo pottery was made in Japan between1962 – and 1974 for the export market.

This pig canister has the large-faced form that marks all Gempo pottery. It is also particular to the 70s era with the stylised features, and the stoneware pottery glazed in rustic creams and browns. And the fact that the pig is wearing clothes!

I’m not sure how many animals Gempo stylised on canisters, mugs, egg cups and moneyboxes but currently in my collection I have a spotted hippo, giraffe, elephant and lion.

The Gempo pig canister is for sale: $AU25

Pearsons of Chesterfield

Pearsons stoneware jars
made in England, 1970s

These condiment jars- three with pouring lips- are all ‘bung’ jars; the top was sealed originally with a removable bung made of cork. The larger three with pouring lips were made for vinegar, oil and vinegrettes and are 6 inches, the smaller ones are made for spices and are 4 ¾ inches.

The printed makers name on the base of the jars is ‘Pearsons of Chesterfield’ – the pottery works has been making stoneware jars since 1810 and only stopped production in 1994. The makers mark indicates these jars were made in the 70s.

James Pearson took over the early pottery works in the 1930s and renamed it Pearsons of Chesterfield; and when the pottery closed in 1994 it was the last of the potteries to do so.

The jars have a minimalist vibe unusual for the 70s and look fantastic massed together: they are now quite collectible and being so sturdy can be pressed into work in the contemporary kitchen.

The set of seven jars are for sale: $AUD85
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70s snowdomesSnowdomes
made in Hong Kong 1970s

Paris! Harmony California [Population 10] and Gundagi.  Gundagi is a small town in NSW that is famous for its ‘dog on the tuckerbox’ statue. [Like many small towns, it finds infamy where it can.] Three snowdomes proving that 1] it snows everywhere, all the time and 2] the snowdome is a great equalizer- everywhere on the planet is represented in the snowdome world.

All three domes were made in Hong Kong in the 70s and you can see the relative vintages of the domes by the water level. Snowdomes are highly collectible and even completely dry domes- which happens after forty or so years- are sought after. Although people think you can top up a snowdome, it is better to leave them.

I recently found a Venice snowdome- complete with gondolier [not shown in image.] Soon I’ll have the entire world!

A must for snowdome collectors- young and old! These three are for sale: $AUD30 [will also throw in Venice!]

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70s Golden Glory

Johnson ‘Golden Glory’ teacups
made in Australia 1976

The back stamp of these 70s tea cups is Johnson OF Australia – [reminds me of Lawrence OF Arabia!] Johnson Bros [Australia] produced transfer printed stoneware crockery marketed as “tough, utilitarian ware” – which is why these teacups are looking so fresh and unblemished today. Also- never been out of the box.

Johnson Bros [Australia] was a division of Johnson Brothers England- at the time one of the largest domestic pottery producers in the world. This design is ‘Golden Glory’- which, double entendre aside, is a selection of lovely golden Australian flowers. This pattern was collected and added to the Powerhouse collection by a Melbourne artist -John Hind.

I have recently started to embrace the 70s – and Australiana from the 70s; and now I have an Instagram account, I have been seeing much 70s Australiana – and Johnsons ceramics are much celebrated. There is one fantastic site where Johnson pieces are cut and sanded to make upcycled jewellery: rings and necklaces. It’s a lovely celebration of 70s iconography and the ‘tough, utilitarian ware’ that the Johnson Bros never imagined.

This boxed set of four teacups and saucers is for sale: $AU45 Buy now for Christmas!

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Collectable Hornsea

Hornsea Saffron condiment set
made in England, 1970s

Here we have a lovely condiment set: mustard pot and salt & pepper shakers- all with teak lids- in a teak tray.

Hornsea is famous for its 70s patterns; always two apposite colours in a geometric pattern. I’ve showcased them all: Saffron, Heirloom and Bronte.

I grew up with this 70s oppositional style: and have only now come to embrace it again. Especially now it’s so collectable! I have styled the egg cup with wattle: it kinda recalls the yolk and i like how the mustard pot can become a egg cup can / become a vase. I have the teak cover, so it can be used as a mustard pot too!

The breakfast set is in great vintage condition, and is for sale: $AU35

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Mikasa platters

Mikasa platters by Ben Seibel,
made in Japan 1972

Large platters made by Mikasa- ‘Sunflower’ and ‘Daisy’, designed by Ben Seibel.  And the best- thing: you can whack them in the dishwasher.

Yes- retro that is dishwasher proof. Who hasn’t been waiting for this innovation? Vintage ware that is also dishwasher-proof. Win-win.

Gorgeous 70s abstract prints of sunflowers and daisies- totally #70s.

Both platters in good vintage condition, and for sale: $AU40
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Christmas decorations #hipsterstyle [sold]

Hipster Christmas decorations
made in Sydney, Australia 2013

How cool are these Christmas baubles? Hand-knitted – in pure Australian wool-  these decorations will lend your Christmas tree some real hipster cred.

Made by a lovely Nanna using a 1970 knitting pattern, this set of 20 baubles is both environmentally sustainable and – quite hilarious. Environmentally sustainable because she used her left over wool pieces, and hilarious because she used her left over wool pieces [~not so much the red and green or tinselly colours.]

You’ve seen the urban art of knitted wraps around trees and poles – now see the knitted Christmas decorations! Christmas just got 1970 crafty!

The set of 20 [all different] Christmas baubles is for sale: $AUD40.