Friday, March 19, 2010

What does this have to do with the price of tea in China?

Nothing.  I'm just trying to select an appropriate china pattern for our Chewish household.

Teacups for our Chinese Tea Ceremony

You see, when we got married, we registered at Michael C. Fina, which has a "consolidated registry program."  That's fancy talk for their being willing to convert all the items guests purchase for you off your registry into a gift certificate that you can use -- for pretty much anything at their store -- at a later date.

This was really useful for us because a) we hadn't yet moved into our new house and had no room to store anything, let alone fine china, and b) it allowed us me to defer the decision about china patterns.  And if you know me, I'm all about deferring decisions.

But now that it's almost a year after our wedding, deferral time is over.  Boo.

What I want is something that is stylish, fresh, and modern, without being so crazy that my kids aren't going to want this stuff 30 years from now.  Something that is timeless but not boring.

Here are the top contenders:

Oberon by Wedgwood

1) Oberon.  When you first look at this pattern, you'll probably say, "Blech.  This looks like it came from the place where country decor went to die (i.e., the Christmas Tree Store).  What's wrong with you?"  But I like the chinoiserie feel of the peaches, which are a classic Chinese motif.  And I swear that the longer you stare at the pattern -- the gold and sage scroll work, the little black flourishes, the dimensionality of the peaches -- the more you'll like it.

Vera Lace by Wedgewood
2) Vera Lace.  Nobody does understated, chic, and modern-classic like Vera.  The pixelated lace and florals make a pattern that could otherwise be fussy contemporary.  My only quibble with this pattern is that I wonder if it's too popular.  It seems to be on everyone's registry.  Is that proof of its awesomeness or of its "it's-been-playedness"?
Lattice Blue/Orange by J. Chew

3) Lattice Blue/Orange.  This pattern is the Chewi-est of them all.  Not just because it's made by J. Chew (whom I can only guess is fab), but also because it's "influenced by [a] passion for ancient Chinese ceramics along with modern elegance."  My fear with this set is that orange and blue are very "off the moment" colors: in 30 years, am I going to think about this color combo the way we now think of yellow and brown (which I'm sure was groovy in the 70s)?

Song Vermillion by J. Chew
4) Song Vermillion.  Another J. Chew (seriously, I can't get over the name).  This design is "inspired by the royal courts of the Sung Dynasty, using the colors of the East and West."  For both this and the above J. Chew design, all the plates, regardless of size, have the same design.  I'm wondering if it'd be worthwhile to swap out the salad plate for a solid color, so as to give the design a bit more punch and variety?

Lotus Pavilion by J. Chew
5) Lotus Pavilion.  Sorry to throw one last J. Chew out there.  This design has a bit more variety, in that only the dinner plate and dessert plate have a graphic in the middle.  The salad plate only has the orange rim with the lotus motif.  But we're back to the question about colors: Is this tangerine color, which looks modern, fresh, and happy to me now, going to look to my 2040 self like a hot mess?

Which one would you pick?  Do you also have fantasies about giving your children china, or is the whole idea laughable?


Cathleya March 19, 2010 at 9:31 PM  

I'm personally drawn to the Lotus Pavillion... but based on ALL of your other choices, and if I'm trying to put myself in your shoes, I'd choose the Lattice Blue/Orange. It's a nice modern mix of East and West.

kristie March 19, 2010 at 11:18 PM  

It's between #3 and #4.

violarulz/ducksandbooks March 21, 2010 at 2:49 AM  

I like #1 and #3, I don't think blue and orange is too of-the-times, blue and orange have always been a nifty combo, that's why they're on opposite ends of the color wheel :D

I also like the classic-ness of the peaches and how not all the plates are exactly the same.... The peaches are more Asian inspired, but I like how the dinner plate is nice and white, the the "funky" comes out in the salad plate and the tea cup (neither of which spend a ton of time on the table, right?)

Coasting Anon March 21, 2010 at 9:00 AM  

Oberon all the way. China is for your most special occasions in addition to serving pizza off of it once a month so you can say you use it. The Oberon is so lovely and the accent pieces would mostly only come out for the special occasion uses anyway which makes it a perfect compromise!

PS - HOW THE HECKSTERS DID I NOT HAVE YOUR BLOGGITY BLOG INFO PRIOR TO THIS?!?!! Must go back and read every post immediately.

Mrs. Hot Cocoa March 21, 2010 at 1:32 PM  

I think the husband has dismissed all but #4 as "hideous." But I'm going to go check out the J. Chew collection live and in person next week and see if it's worth convincing him to go with the others. Thanks for your thoughts all! I might need the ammunition in an argument, so appreciate the feedback.

Sugar March 22, 2010 at 6:12 PM  

You must buy one of the J. Chew ones. Seriously. How could you not. Let us know what they look like in person.

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