Marriage of Cookware and Art Can Be a Fun Experiment

Cookware and ArtHave you ever considered displaying your toaster on the living-room coffee table? Or hanging wooden mixing spoons from the hall entry mirror? Or hanging your frying pans on the wall behind the sofa?

Usually not, one would say.

Recently, I found myself displaying kitchenware with art and actually creating cookware displays in a living room.

Cookware and ArtThis situation was not an easy task. Considering grandma’s casserole dishes fine art entered the range of ridiculous or impossible. Maybe impossible for some, but not for me, who for 10 years created an enormous Pyrex installation next to my art gallery in downtown Bremerton.

The day came to consider retiring from a longtime running retail gallery situation and putting an end to 1,500 pieces of vintage Pyrex that were not for sale but displayed as an art installation.

What was called a Pyrex Museum had gained national recognition. Coming to an end this year brought folks from all over to buy from one of the largest Pyrex accumulations in the United States.

Cookware and ArtI kept almost 150 pieces of Pyrex, having several kitchen, dining and living areas in which to display the coveted items. Arranging them in a retail shop for all those years was fun and easy. Now to bring home and combine with art was another story.

I began by playing, just seeing what art and Pyrex would look like paired together — art by Susan Sweetwater, Ken Lundemo, Frank Corsey and others.

The challenge was the large installation in the living room, where some 20 pieces would become nonutilitarian components. It was here that I realized it would be difficult to create something with kitchenware and recognized as such, but the totality would be for visual merit only.

Combining art with grandma’s bowls and casserole dishes? Yep, did it, and the experience sure was fun.