Styling with ‘Fat Lava’

Fat lava vase60s West German vase

I did NOT like this vase at all when my partner bought it. But – as soon as she styled it with a vintage Travant car of the same age and those contemporary candles- I was converted.

It’s all in the colour tones. How good does the vase look with the two different greens next to it? My partner is a whiz with colour and mixing and matching forms -in ways that I am not.

‘Fat lava’ West German vases are often chunky, and garish of colour and form- but they look fantastic grouped together in a tonal or shape theme. Or as here- singly with contrasting forms and materials. I think the timber table also helps- the brown tones are picked up in the vase.

Styling with 60s retro

'Impact' coffee setStyling with retro
‘Impact’ coffee set by British Anchor, Staffordshire England, made 1960-1969
modern reproduction red glass vase and kale

Mixing retro objects with contemporary objects is easy- as long as it is done simply. The red glass vase holds kale, an ornamental cabbage. It’s a strong, architectural flower that compliments the modernist lines of the coffee set. Both the coffee pot and the kale have an elongated, exaggerated verticality. And they are green- the complimentary opposite of red.

I don’t buy reproduction pieces, but this lovely red glass vase was given to me as a gift. I use it a great deal. I love that it is unpretentious, and plays homage to 60s glassware. It’s robust and honest – a simplified version of the real thing. But wow! does it pack a punch with architectural flowers.

Persinware #710 kitchen scales

Persinware 710 domestic scales, made in Australia, c.1960s

This pair of metal scales come with their original plastic measuring bowls- an elongated oval in dark green, and an apple-green rounded bowl with pouring lip. The white enamel is a little scuffed in places, evidencing their role in the kitchens of Australia for the last fifty-or so- years. Both scales are still accurate [I have tested them against a digital 2012 scale] and weigh things up to ten pounds, by 1 oz increments. The scales have an adjusting knob on the back, to allow for the weight of the bowl itself.

Lemons and limes look particularly good in the green bowls. If green isn’t your colour, I do have a couple of other Persinware scales with red, orange and yellow bowls…   For sale: $AUD90

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Rex Aluminium Company

Rex Aluminium Company
Raco Quality Kitchenware
Made in Australia c. 1960s

These aluminium canisters are also in my studio- they house more sewing paraphernalia. some of these containers have sections for removable labels, which is ideal for describing the new contents. the two larger containers have bakelite handles, while the small ‘sago’ labelled container to the front has an extruded aluminium handle.

Styling Retro

Pyrex glass & plastic kitchen ‘stack & see’ canisters
Made in the USA, c. 1968
1 quart canister [=0.95 litres]

I use these canisters- with their funky 60s colours – to store my button collection. Any sort of see-through canister is great for use in the kitchen- so is stackability – but I have repurposed these canisters in my design studio.