Sunday, September 15, 2013

blenko? i think so.

Negotiating in a flea market. I am sort of just learning the shtick. Something caught my eye on this table at the Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market.

Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market - Blenko Glass

What could it be?

I think I kind of learned the drill last Sunday. I scanned past this table and then asked about a particular shiny blue glass object, without appearing to be all that interested. The answer was given to me quite gruffly. "$80, take it or leave it." I said thank you and moved on. But noting the space location mentally.

I trudged back to that space some two hours later, in 95 degree heat. Sucking down my water all the way. It was almost quitting time. I tried to be unassuming.
What is the price?
$25.
Umm, would you take $20?
NO.
OK.
Is it Blenko or isn't it? Either way. It matches the bathrooms and adds that special something.

Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market - Blenko Glass


And, I have been slightly irritated that in the Apartment Therapy story about the bathrooms, the criticism was that the new bathrooms in our mid-century modern home really aren't mid-century modern. How about if I hit you over the head with it?


Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market - Blenko Glass


The pretty blue decanter has a little Blenko tag. But who knows?

Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market - Blenko Glass

Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market - Blenko Glass


A Blenko bottle and a Saarinen Tulip Stool. Subtle. Right?

Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market - Blenko Glass

I picked up another little treasure at the Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market. There were mid-century paintings for DAYS!.

I bought this painting for like $80 or so. But I blew it just a tiny bit. And it is so cool and so mid-century.

Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market - Mid-Century Modern Oil Painting
Nice, right?  When I got it home, I realized it had just the hugest crack running down the right side.

Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market - Mid-Century Modern Oil Painting


I need to not be so in a rush. And it was really hot. Not good for oil paintings. I took a really glarey picture so you can see the crack properly.

Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market - Mid-Century Modern Oil Painting


I don't think there is much you can really do except hope for the best... Any ideas? Serves me right for being in a hurry.

Boo. Ah well. Live and learn.

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19 comments:

  1. Looks like a Blenko #6630 designed by Joel Myers. I love the shape. He and Wayne Husted are my two favorite Blenko designers.

    I have to admit that it irked me too when I read those comments on Apartment Therapy. Nothing annoys me more than when someone who has the tiniest smattering of knowledge about something makes such a know-it-all comment, especially if it's someone whose knowledge of modernist design doesn't extend beyond pink bathrooms, cracked ice Formica and dimestore figurines. The more I'm in this business, the more I realize that a large segment of people who say they love mid-century design don't really have a clue what high-end mid-century design was. I don't have a problem with people liking kitsch...but I do have a problem with them insisting that if it isn't kitsch, it isn't mid-century.

    My dad's side of the family didn't have a lot of money, and they bought the inexpensive furnishings of that era...basically the kitsch of today. I can guarantee you that people whose families lived in penthouses in New York City in the 1950s and 1960s have a completely different recollection of what "mid-century" design is.

    I wish I knew what to tell you about your painting. Do you think putting a thick coat of Modge Podge over the entire things would do the trick? It's a combination of glue, sealer and finish, so it might camouflage the crack...or at least keep it from cracking more.

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    Replies
    1. Dana, thanks for the ID. I am learning a lot about Blenko most recently. Always an education. Thanks for the comment about Apartment Therapy. They caught me off guard with the "it's not mid-century" comments. I never saw that coming as I studied the designs to try and replicate the feel of mid-century but in 21st century way. Geez, it is a mosaic tile floor for heaven's sake. My 21st century friends march into that bathroom and their first comment is, "That is a lot of grout."

      On the painting, that is an EXCELLENT idea. Obviously it is not valuable, but it will be far less so if that chip comes off. I looked up restoration processes and they are ridiculous hard and likely to look bad. I may take it by a shop that I like. Perhaps they have some kind of glaze they can just put over the top. Good idea!

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  2. Beautiful glass and that modge podge idea might do the trick. I sure wouldn't spend the money on any kind of restoration, unless the artist's signature is Cezanne or something of equal renown.

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    Replies
    1. I won't spend more than a few bucks, promise. I do want to ask at this framer place I know if there is a particular glaze or something I should consider buying to accomplish the Modge Podge idea. Otherwise, Michael's, here I come!

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  3. I think a lot of people definitely have a fuzzy view of just how expansive the range of design was in the 1940's, 50's and '60's. Rather than feeling hung up on the few negative comments in the AT post, focus instead on all the posts coming to your defense! Not to mention all the posts questioning the loss of cabinet space speak to how open and roomy your bathrooms look now, I think. ;)

    I've been working on a design for eventually renovating my 1959 modern-ish ranch's kitchen, and actually just linked to your page about your bathroom remodel with that beautiful vintage photo of a couple in their kitchen as an example of the aesthetic we're going for. We currently have a total time capsule kitchen and while I love it's current look, it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of using it for actually cooking in.

    To me, great MCM was all about using old and new materials in interesting and functional ways, and stripping off traditional hang-ups about what a house could and couldn't be, and your bathroom remodel captures that spirit. And it looks great to boot. :)

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    1. I totally agree with you. Thank you for the comment!!! I don't mean to sound defensive at all and really avoided sounding defensive when replying to the comments in AT. I just got a little snarky last night. :) When you put yourself out there, you have to be open to feedback. That picture of the 1950s kitchen was my inspiration for the bathrooms!

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  4. Certainly looks like Blenko to me! But I only own one piece - so far - so I'm no expert but my piece has the same label. You got a great deal if it is!
    I get a little weary of the MCM 'purists'. I don't want a home full of mid century kitsch or a pink tiled bathroom either. But I also don't like minimalist modern. I prefer a happy medium. Mid century + modern. I think you have done a wonderful job with that. I absolutely love what you did with your bathroom.

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  5. Hi Rebecca, Love the blue bottle! Looks great in your bathroom. The painting is right up my alley. I reckon you could get away with leaving the crack. It is camouflaged nicely in the texture and colour of the painting.
    I am not a fan of negative comments - at all. I don't know alot about Mid Century (or anything for that matter) but I do know that some people just like the sound of their own voice (or comment, if you will). Perhaps their vision or impression of Mid Century is vastly different somehow from how others see it. For what it's worth, I think your bathroom is fabulous. : )

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  6. Love the blue bottle in your bathroom. Also love the flea reports!
    And even more, I love your bathrooms. If I ever have the resources to remodel mine, I hope I can make them even a fraction as lovely and appropriate as yours. And I don't have speck of base, crown, window or door molding anywhere in my house (except a sorry little bit from an unfortunate kitchen remodel) so I liked seeing that choice in your bathroom.

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  7. LOL. Love the AT snark! (Yours, not theirs!) They are a bit full of themselves sometimes.

    Enjoy your site - - especially when you go shopping and I can virtually come along!

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