Sometimes you cannot see the forest for the trees.  Having two mid-century two person sized lawn gliders made by the same manufacturer, I was comparing them yesterday.  One is my very first glider.  It was free.  It was at the “solid waste disposal site” we use, and the worker helped me load it into my station wagon (at another time, there was a fine one already up in the metal container and the workers said they were not allowed to pluck anything out that was already in; what a disappointment!).

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After its rescue, I took the glider straight to a welding place down the road from here as it was wonky and would not glide.  See the dark elements under the closer armrest?  Those were fabricated for me at the welding shop (no welding was actually done, they probably simply did the job with pity for my ignorance).


These elements are rusty now and this glider has always been on a covered porch.  The elements are still strong however, and are attached to the frame with screws and nuts.

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What occurred to me last night was the fact that there were two original gliding elements on this glider.  Above is what the original elements look like.  They are not a solid piece of steel as the replacements are, they are like a constructed tube, which has been flattened.


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Compared to my first glider acquisition, this lawn glider was more expensive, but still a great deal.  The elements facilitating the gliding have all been replaced, and all are aluminum.  A more expensive fix.

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English: Tex Beneke
English: Tex Beneke (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OK, we have Tex Beneke‘s old refrigerator.  Tex gave it to Glenn when he moved from St. Louis years and years ago.  It is sadly still in the barn as we have not found a place for it yet.  It might be interesting on the back porch, as a kind of depression era statement, representing the decade when this house was built.  Of course that would displace what already lives there.  *Sigh*, I need another house.

We love that old fridge because of its age, its legs, and the white enamel surface.  That’s the main part.  We also collect old metal kitchen cabinets with, or well beyond, their clean polished white surfaces.



Glenn came home from St. Louis last weekend with this little gem that he bought at auction.


This could be used on the back porch as well.  That is where it is now that the porch is empty of all the plants that normally reside there.  There is another like this inside that we use as a little addition to the kitchen,  outside the kitchen proper.  We use it as a little coffee bar, just like a motel.  All the tools for making coffee and tea are housed there, as well as cups.  We aspire to be like a motel!

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We have at least two tabletops in storage waiting for the making of legs to finish them off.  Below a miscellaneous small table top just fits a steel frame and we use it near where we burn and cook hot dogs.

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The best enamel table we have is one given me by my mother.

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It is from the 1930s, and it is mixed here with chairs from the fifties.  In the foreground is another red chair with one of my collection of toy appliances used as a side table.  Have lots of those all over.  The table is placed within a square defined in the kitchen by four black tiles.  Having ALMOST enough tile to do the kitchen and great room, I had to insert a couple of tile rugs, one in each room to stretch the tile.  The white within the tile rug is a little lighter, but difficult to see here.  The table has an ornate wooden base, and it is in its smaller position.  It pulls apart to reveal a leaf, also decorated.


Ugo Mochi is an artist of some significance.  Starting as a silhouette artist using lots of animals, part of his business was devoted to what he calls “porcelain tabletops”.  Look at this link:

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Love the way my Knowles Ebonette looks on the Ugo Mochi!


How is it that things can “feel” like the decade of the 1950s?  Perhaps that understanding comes only to people who cannot do math.  Their brains are focused on other things.  My grandparents at one point in their lives were very cool, I think.  Never had the opportunity to speak about that to them.  In Denver, they had a fabulous home that was very much influenced by the Prairie style of Frank Lloyd Wright.  There were at least four different levels to the house with some rooms on their own cantilever.  The room we sisters slept in overlooked a flat roof with gravel as the finish.  I wish someone would have spoken to me about that.  It was amazing;  this house was not like our suburban post-war home.  It was a family joke that I nicknamed that house the “1000 dollar house”.

That same room held amazing (now) artifacts.  How fabulous it would be to now have one of those banks where a spaceship loaded a nickel into a moon for safekeeping after you pulled the spaceship back and let go.

On the ground floor of the same house, we ate on plates that looked like constellations and planets.  This was before “The Jetsons“.    They  were very much influenced by Joan Miro, who must have had his second coming about 30 years after his first important appearance.  I think that the late fifties to the early sixties was the first recycle.


Jackson Pollock‘s mature work channels the “atom bomb” of WWII.  Art is magic that way.  The phase of the moon aggregates us to wander amicably (or not so amicably)  and some are shamen.  Much of the mid-fifties art production has that feel of nucleus and electrons orbiting around.  Music was submitted to this same thing of course.  The arts are so fabulously reflective!


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Here are a couple of examples of the compositions on my mid-century Knowles Ebonette plates.  Each one is different.


And here is a composition on a lamp that we have on the back porch from the same mid-century time period.  Look how similar the lines are to the ones on the Ebonette plates.  Below is a similar lamp shade from that same time and reflecting similar linear interest.  It is so great to find a pattern in anything;  it is like you have found the truth.

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This is what happens with flea markets.  When you go there, you see equally diseased people.  Most are not rich, and they dream of that big find.  Some need to accumulate in creative ways.  For me, the need to pull compositions and environments together in unusual ways is the draw.  And it must be said that although I have parallel educations and accomplishments to my friends, it is more difficult to make “the big money”  in Art.

So we go and grab.  Live differently and not competitively.  Sometimes something happens.

With my Ebonette, I found a better cup for the saucer.

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These black cups made for the set are really prone to breaking and cracking.  It makes me wonder if they are made of the same clay as the rest of the set.  I have no reason to believe this however.  I found some simple mugs in colors reminiscent of the fifties, and use those with these dishes.

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So here is the disease part.  Why so many cups?  Four for a dollar, three for a dollar.  But 23 cups?


Just splurged and shouldn’t have.  Could blame it on the “one click”  purchase  for which some company has the patent.  This is why they want it.   I have learned, for now.

Bought my first bunch of Knowles Ebonette in the mid-nineties at a flea market under a highway bridge around Ft. Lauderdale.  Emotional and knowing what I like when viewed, the whole box of dishes cost twenty bucks.  The coffee cups were lame, and I gave them back to the seller and she said thanks.

Already into mid-century collectibles and trying to recreate that old fuzzy time, I had much hammered aluminum, colorful aluminum tumblers, many dinette sets, old lamps that had shades like plastic with the same lines found on the Ebonette.  This discovery was just thrilling and it was a while until more Ebonette was necessary.

In the years after, I looked away.  Kind of like when the US was looking and looking at the Mideast, and wham!  China had exploded.  Well my china exploded in price too when looking at other things.

What I saw under that bridge and continue to see in Ebonette is amazing.  Each plate is a drawing.  All are different.  They are not like Jackson Pollock in imagery, but similar.  Their black and white lines are more based on a grid.  Another detail that expresses the mid-fifites is the rounded corners on each of the pieces.

I hate to think how many of these plates we have broken through use.  FYI, they are great in the dishwasher and the microwave.  Never even thought not to subject my Ebonette to it.  Could be stupid.


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When I realized how expensive these were getting, everyday use was no more.  Bought some interesting yellowy green ovals with with a granite like glaze and no mark at the flea market very inexpensively.  This is crazy, but they were too big.  We ate too much food!  That is the reason for the recent purchase.

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What to do with broken Ebonette?  What I do with broken anything.  Reuse it.

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Ebonette covering an old divided dish from the fifties, Ebonette enjoying the sun on the pool wall.