Contemporary Thrifting with Amy

On the Search for Kitchen Bowls

Kitchen BowlsLet me put the kitchen bowl subject aside while I tell you a short thrifting story. “Contemporary Thrifting” is an article series about one vintage item, preferably post-midcentury, that I find in a community thrift shop. I also like to delve into the store itself, featuring its services for the community and comments from the employees about buying trends they’re seeing.

While at the Port Orchard Goodwill, I made a major observation. “Where are all the canisters and cookie jars?” I asked the employee stacking items. “Not that long ago, an entire isle was packed with them, constantly. This must be a new trend.”

She stopped unloading her cart and shook her head no, explaining that it was a matter of getting less merchandise because of the lack of transportation due to COVID-19. Interesting, that brought to mind the fact that the big, national thrift organizations process items. Your donations don’t go from hand to shelf, like the smaller community thrift businesses.

The article rule is that the item can’t be pulled from my kitchen (my zillions to choose from). It has to be a recent find. And usually just one vintage item, whereas this time two bowls were a must — so different, yet the same. Both vintage, not rare, they hold the same amount of content and have an 11-inch diameter.

They’re different shapes, but both are enamelware. They have different design applications, and one is made in China and the other in Japan. I found them both in Belfair — one at Blessed Treasure, a nonprofit thrift shop that assists the Guatemalan community; the other at the HUB thrift shop, formally known as Faith in Action, which assists seniors in need.

These bowls cost around $20, more or less. Why would I select these somewhat corny-looking items to feature? I suppose because they’re somewhat corny. The enamelware bowls are kind of lovely, but more ordinary. The yellow bowl is dramatic, but beautiful imagery hidden when filled with content.

If I could only give one kitchen design advice, it would be to have a large bowl on the counter and filled with something you enjoy, whether that be oranges, walnuts or postcards.

I’ve never met a kitchen bowl that I didn’t like. There is always something to fill one with.

Goodbye, COVID. Fill those thrift shop shelves with more kitchen bowls.