Wednesday, July 13 2016

collecting retro wares

I am Generation X, a child of the '70's and I grew up surrounded by wooden furniture, vinyl upholstery and Scandinavian glassware.

In the kitchen

Australian kitchen ware designs from Bessemer with their Europa range, Decor etc. and melamine serving utensils by Rosti (made in Denmark) and Trend (made in Melbourne). These wares have a simple clean detail that prioritises form  
over function but also bring to mind the famous Morris quote about usefulness and beauty:

"Let nothing into your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful"

In my opinion these European inspired and Scandinavian kitchen wares are both beautiful and useful; Bessmer Europa items sparked my collecting and subsequently formed the foundation of Retrorocket's kitchenware stock.

Furniture, wares and nostalgia
mid-Century modern furniture and 1970s kitchen and bar ware serve as reminders of my grandfather and both my grandmothers.  

My Norwegian grandfather pronounced Ajax with a silent J and thought that as a left-hander I was possessed by the Devil (and he may well have been right  
about that!) Along with these cultural memories he brought with him from Tante (Aunty) Signe's waffle recipe with sour cream and the most beautiful  
Scandinavian art glass and Norwegian silver.

My much-travelled Irish grandmother Mary gifted us with her excellent taste in Cloisonné and West German pottery as well as her frugality! On the other side  
of the family my Scottish grandmother Ruby collected excellent Australian and New Zealand wood furniture, what are now vintage fabrics, 1940s lacquer ware and  
New Zealand greenstone (some of which was gifted by my other grandfather to my mother).

Taste is subjective and is formed by who you are and what you like; this is turn is shaped by your cultural background and lived experience. I thank my  
parents and their parents for blessing me with what I think is a heritage of good taste tempered by modernity.

Until I began writing this article on my collecting, I did not realise how much my grandparents worldly experience had influenced my personal taste and the shape of my business.

K. Jakobsen for Retrorocket Dianella 2016