This post is by my good friend Ed- he is going to share his knowledge here because he basically knows too much, and just must share!! He knows alot about food, antiques and gardening. So I managed to convince him that he doesn’t have enough going on in his life that he needs to write some blog posts with me. I hope in a year from now he won’t hate me and that he’s still writing here! :) Give him some love so he sticks around…you’re going to LOVE what he shares!
Texas Ware! Just the name sounds grand. If you like to cook and bake the way Muna and I do, it’s a sure bet that you don’t need an excuse to go out and buy another mixing bowl. My mixing bowl collection borders on an addiction, but we will save that for an entirely different blog! Texas Ware mixing bowls have been a hot collectible for the last several years, due primarily to Rachel Ray using and displaying them on her cooking show. Naturally, Rachel found it necessary to release her own line of mixing bowls copying the original. Her modern version can be found from a variety of sources including QVC and Kohl’s department stores.
Texas Ware was a line of melamine (or melmac) from the mid 1950’s through the mid 1990’s made by the Plastic Manufacturing Company of Dallas, Texas . Texas Ware is a whole lot more than just mixing bowls. The line also included dinnerware sets, tumblers, and a wide variety of other practical kitchen and home goods made of the miracle material, melamine. Melamine was a result of 1940’s ingenuity resulting from shortages due to World War II. Cheap, colorful, lightweight and easy to care for, melamine was a eagerly embraced by housewives used to heavy pottery or glass dishes and mixing bowls that were easily breakable.
Texas Ware confetti mixing bowls, shown in the accompanying photos, were a product of early recycling and repurposing. The bowls “confetti” or “spatter” like appearance is due to the recycling of the many, many colors of melamine that Texas Ware produced. At the end of the day, all the bits and pieces were thrown together to create the multi-color effect that these bowls are now famous for. Truly, no two are exactly alike, which is a part of the charm that draws collectors today.
Confetti bowls blend with a multitude of decorating and design styles. The spatter like effect is the perfect foil for displaying on granite counter tops, and pairs well with stainless steel and modern décor. The bowls are equally charming and at home with a more traditional or a vintage mid-century modern decorating scheme. The color assortment is a major draw for collectors, literally every color of the rainbow is represented, though some colors are harder find as well as more expensive. Purple, blue and pink confetti bowls are in high demand and always bring top dollar.
Texas Ware bowls can be found in antique malls, flea markets and if you are very lucky, your Mom or Grandma’s kitchen cupboard. Since the bowls are not that terribly old, they can be readily found with a little patience and ingenuity. eBay is a prime source especially if you are looking for a specific color or size. The bowls are no longer quite as cheap as they once were. A quick scan of finished eBay auctions reveal ending prices ranging from $20-60 per bowl with scarce colors commanding the highest prices. Prices are similar when shopping at antique malls and flea markets, probably the cheapest source would be searching local yard sales concentrating on those that are estate clean outs.
I use my confetti bowls several times a week for many different tasks ranging from displaying oranges and lemons on the kitchen counter to using the larger size for mixing bread dough. They are a kitchen work horse, both lightweight and durable. A word of caution however, hand wash the bowls after use, the dishwasher will soon dull the shiny finish that is a part of the charm and rugged good looks these bowls possess.
Texas Ware bowls are a great way to bring a little bit of history and retro styling into your kitchen and cooking. They are also the ultimate in recycling. Find one (or a dozen) and enjoy them yourself.
Does anyone have their own Texas Ware stories to share?