Monday, May 27, 2013

Heller One Quart Casserole Reunited

You guys know how much I like the Heller Bakeware items designed by Vignelli - I try to pick up even parts when I get a chance. About a year ago I came across the lid to a round, one quart casserole (technically it's the "Au Gratin Cover") - I think I paid $0.94 for it and bought it since it was in good shape (no chips, cracks, etc.). I see these occasionally as singles - I think what happens is that half gets broken - the glass can be a bit brittle as already discussed - so the remaining piece ends up in the donation pile.

In any case, yesterday while running errands I stopped by Goodwill and found the mating bottom for $1.91:

So here they are, reunited once again...

One Quart Casserole with Au Gratin Cover Height: (Including cover) 12.7cm (5″)
Diameter: 21.1 cm (8.25″)

I love happy endings!

-- John

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dansk Kobenstyle Small Baking Dish

I actually found this and photographed it back in October - yes it's been a while since I posted and I figured I'd get caught up a bit. I was walking into Goodwill and saw a woman carrying out a bright red Dansk bread pan and was hopeful there were other pieces left behind. I spotted this small baking pan on the end-cap towards the back of the kitchen aisle, otherwise it had been picked clean.

This is the smaller of the two (maybe 3?) sizes available from Dansk in the Kobenstyle pattern,  roughly 11" x 8" x 2" of baking area, featuring enamels of bright red and white and the iconic Jens Quistgaard designed handles adorning the ends.

This is certainly the best condition baking pan example I've found in the wild. Previously I found the larger pan for $2 at a Last Chance Thrift Store, however I still haven't gotten all the black gunk off of it - seems it was used more frequently than it was cleaned.

Apparently Goodwill (or at least this particular location) has learned that there is some value to these - either that or the particularly good condition inspired them to bump the price up a bit. At $8.58 it was still a bargain, but much more than, say a cheap Wilton pan used at around $3.

This example is marked Dansk International Designs LTD IHQ/France with the copyright symbol.

 I'm just enamored (sic) with the handles on the pans - much of the attraction for me are the design elements.

This pan along with siblings from the line are once again available at Macy's, Bloomingdale's and Crate and Barrel - this example would put you back about $80 but you might be able to find one on sale.

-- John

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Cocobolo Tiles - Place Mats?

Not much to report of late - I've picked up the "this-and-that" but nothing that I would consider cool. Sometime in early February I did find this item at Goodwill - what caught my eye was the intense color and grain. Picking them up was an experience as they are about twice as heavy as I would have expected. Upon closer examination I realized that the tiles are cocobolo - if you're not familiar with the wood, it's in the rosewood family and quite prized - it's also very expensive. The whole stack was wrapped in celo so I couldn't really tell what it was, but I figured at minimum the tiles could be reused in my woodworking.

Unfolding the stack revealed two flexible mats with the tiles joined by mono-filament:

My apologies for the blurry photos - I didn't realize how bad they were until I posted - however you can get the gist and there's enough detail so you can see how beautiful they are. Each mat has at least one tile "loose" where the mono-filament has broken - easy to repair. I think they may be Danish in origin but really don't know as I haven't seen them before.

I'm thinking about stitching the two together into a single centerpiece - thoughts on that? They may have originally been together for just that, or they may be place mats (one is a tile row wider than the other). No markings that I could find. If you have any info or if you've seen them before, please let me know - I'd like to identify them.

-- John

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dansk Teak End-Cut Coaster Set

I'm finally getting around to December and January finds - fairly "slim-pickings" from those two months or perhaps I'm just getting too choosy. In any case, I found these 8 coasters at Goodwill - they had the two rubber bands around them as shown, wrapped in plastic with a $1.92 price on them.

They looked great and even better once I got them home. I don't believe they were ever used - so these are keepers.

Dansk would normally market these in sets of 4 so I'm presuming that these 8 are actually two sets. Also, Dansk would normally mark the edge of at least one coaster with a small "Dansk" imprint - I've looked these over and couldn't find one so these are potentially knock-offs. However they are so nice it doesn't matter to me, plus they are extremely functional.

I'm particularly fond of the butcher-block end-grain cut of similar cutting boards. I find the grain patterning entrancing. Sorry about the glare on these - they aren't high-polish but due to the wood's hardness and silica content, they tend to reflect light.

More to come...

-- John

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Large Dansk Rare Woods Tray

Recently I found what is probably the epitome of thrift scores, at least for me. With my love of modernism, wooden items, Dansk, etc., I had never hoped to find a Dansk Rare Woods item. If you're unfamiliar with the term, it seems that for a few years Dansk created items made of a list of rare woods instead of teak - I believe that this was some time in the 60's. All of these items are marked with the name of the wood and a branch from the species, in this case cocobolo (in the rosewood family) - they are also all very distinctive in appearance. I found this tray at Goodwill:

Front View from one end
I couldn't believe what I was seeing and immediately took a photo with my phone to send to my friend and fellow modern connoisseur, John Stevens. First, this thing is massive measuring in at about 15" by 30" with a slight lip and runners (total height is less than an inch). Second, considering the thinness of wood, it's very heavy.

It's got a few water rings and scratches but I believe it will clean up nicely.

Bottom View from one end
What amazes me about this is the over-all construction. First laminating individual pieces of cocobolo into a structure that would support weight using nothing but epoxy, then routing out the inside to get it this thin. All of that would be hard to do with most woods. You can see the imprint in the photo below.

It's hard to believe that this tray is still in the amazing condition that it's in - unlike many other trays I come across (and pass on) this one hasn't been put into a dishwasher (might me due to it's size).

There are a couple of edge dings, this one looks to have been struck with something as there's a shallow chip:

The second ding looks to be one from the factory (a small void where the wood had fallen out):

I think the tray will clean up fine - the scratches are all in the surface and very mild - probably from being stored with something laying on top of the tray. Some cleaning, very light sanding and a coat of Danish oil should be all it needs.

-- John

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dansk End-Cutting Board Tray Refurb

I managed to do some light sanding on the Dansk Teak End-Grain Cutting Board/Tray that I posted previously.

This tray was mostly just a bit dirty but it did have a few imperfections - luckily they all sanded out. I always start these retorations by wiping everything down with mineral spirits. It tends to get off any goo and the sanding tends to work out any residue. After a bit of sanding at 220 I wiped well and followed with two coats of Watco Danish Oil. I love the honey-colored hues of Teak. This one will be a keeper.

-- John

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Heller Model 255 Deep Loaf/Pate Pan by Vignelli

As you've probably figured out by my previous post on Heller glass bakeware, I have an affinity for these Vignelli designed items and am on a constant lookout for them. Other than the two quart casserole with au gratin cover, I've only found a few incomplete bottom halves - my luck finally changed with this Model 255 Deep Loaf/Pate Pan, which I found at a local Goodwill.

This small, rectangular pan measures about 7" wide and 9" long. There were several square and rectangular dishes made for Heller - these actually pre-date the round casseroles by two years having been released in 1975 (the round in 1977 to be clear). I was quite excited to find this one intact, without any blemishes or chips.

From the catalog page, these are supposedly microwave-friendly, however if you want to keep any you find I wouldn't recommend cooking anything in them. I've had some discussions with my friend John Stephens, who turned me on to these, who seems to think they have become fragile with age. Since I've picked up 3 bottoms missing lids, I'm guessing that they are a bit brittle. In any case, I've grown to like them quite a bit so this one is a keeper.

-- John