Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Real McCoy

Blue Silk Hydrangea Arrangement by Linda Starr
in vintage matt white vase

By now you probably know I am prone to collecting. Before I began my new found passion with clay, I collected vases made by others in anticipation of having my own flower farm one day. I also took several college courses in flower arranging. The past five years I farmed lavender and flowers and had a flower and gift shop. Most of my vase collection is long gone, either sold in my shop or donated to various charities along the way. But I still have a few vases with silk and dried floral arrangements so I thought I'd show them to you before I pack them.

Now that I work with clay I have a renewed interest in observing the different shapes and styles of vases. For floral arrangements I prefer vases with simple lines and a matt finish. This way the arrangement is the focal point rather than the vase. As I was researching the type of vases I have left I found out the Floraline vases were a line made by McCoy Pottery, which I didn't know till today. McCoy Pottery began in 1910 in Roseville, Ohio and closed in 1990 due to competition from offshore products.

Peach Poppy and Moss Orchid Arrangement by Linda Starr
Floraline 441 USA vintage vase

I prefer arrangements with real flowers, but while I had my home for sale, I found silk or dried arrangements served my purpose well. I didn't have to add water or constantly refresh the flowers. I found oblong vases are perfect to use for arrangements on long tables or in smaller spaces such as a dining room sideboard or on a narrow shelf. The large boat shaped vase with the hydrangea arrangement in the first photo above is one of my favorite shapes. I had this particular arrangement on the top of a low bookcase in my family room. If I had placed the arrangement on a table I could have made the height even lower so those sitting at the table could see each other over the top of the arrangement. I also could have placed greens and some candles in the vase for a floral display. This boat shape is very versatile.

Aqua Dried Arrangement by Linda Starr
Floraline 433 USA vintage vase

Pedestal vases are a nice shape to work with because they allow flowers to droop over the edge of the vase gracefully, yet not touch the table. It's easy to get real flowers to droop over the edge but not so easy for silk or dried, especially dried. The stems of dried florals are brittle and easily broken. I'm glad I save these three vases, I like their versatility. Hope you'll come back next time to hear about a frog you shouldn't kiss.


  1. WOW Linda, you have quite a talent for flower arranging! I used to collect McCoy Pottery and have several books about McCoy. I love it. I think I am down to about four pieces now. We moved five times in four years so that sort of put an end to my collecting for awhile.

  2. And she has yet another talent. Well done. I can appreciate but have no flair for arranging.
    I really love the dried ones for the unusual shapes and textures.

  3. Hi Tracy, thanks I don't consider these to be my best I do much better with real flowers, but I needed the colors to jazz up the decor to sell our home. And I thought I moved a lot - now I don't feel so bad. We lived here for 5 years and 2 years for the last two places and then 4 years and then 10 years before that. Each time I have to get rid of a lot of stuff - this time it was all my gardening books which are too heavy to move. So I am just keeping my ceramics books this time.

    Hi Patti, thanks so much. I love dried florals, sometimes you can find the most interesting weeds and they look good in a vase. Of course I paid for these, but I have brought dried grass seeds heads in and put them in a vase.

    Hi Cindy, thanks so much. Don't know how they will fair in the packing box, we shall see.

  4. Great job Linda with other talents. Thanks for introducing me to McCo, I'm going to check out at lunch a pot I've had forever that just might be the real...

    PS Thanks for your comments at my site. much appreciated.

  5. Hi Max, thanks, I just thought these were an inexpensive florists line, but I liked their clean lines, little did I know. The link to McCoy has an interesting history of the pottery too.

  6. Wowza those are attractive. Should be moving time soon for you guys...are you getting a bit exciting about the possiblities?

  7. Hi Mary, thanks, pretty close, still have tons of packing to do, but worried about what kind of health insurance to get and what to do with the cats. Thought about renting a place, but who will rent to someone with three cats? Ugh. Oh well some idea should hit me pretty quick I hope.

    Hey I am also wanting to work in clay and gee it may be a long time, I think I have a terrible addiction to clay, could be worse I guess.


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