around the house: for the love of fiestaware

Happy 2013! I hope each and every one of you had lovely holidays. We had my parents and sister down for a few days over Christmas and had a great time (though a bit squished with five adults and a large dog in our tiny house!). I’m very excited about 2013 and was not in the least bit sad to see 2012 close. Last year was so full of various downs (SH’s 11th hour deployment, Maverick being so ill right after we adopted him, my mom’s cancer diagnosis, and feeling plagued by things breaking down all year…), but I’m hopeful for this year. Especially since Miss Blueberry will make her debut in less than 3 months!


I have been fascinated by Fiestaware since I was about 8 or 10. I don’t remember where I first saw it: whether it was in a collectables magazine or at an antique store (one of our favorite rainy-day activities when I was growing up was to go to the local antiques mall. I was a lucky child! lol.). But the bright colors and vintage shapes caught my eye even at that young age! I don’t know why I didn’t have the foresight to start requesting place settings as gifts years ago, or even to have it on the wedding registry when SH and I got married (I was going through a weird, “I want to be modern” phase and we ended up with square plates that I think are ugly at this point–not to mention don’t fit in any microwave we’ve ever owned!). But our everyday dinnerware is starting to chip (I am not happy with that after only four years of use!), and we needed to start thinking about replacement. (Especially before I “accidentally” break another piece… Oops!)

Which has brought me back to Fiestaware! I’ve been scheming over colors for the past week, after I got a little Christmas spending money that was burning a hole in my pocket. hehe! I’m sticking to brand new pieces, since not only are the real-deal vintage pieces collectable (and therefore pricy), but there is also the issue of various colors being radioactive. The newer line (reintroduced in 1986) is of course devoid of the glaze problems and is also lead-free, and even a 5-piece place setting isn’t hugely unreasonable. After some consultation with my decorating-partner-in-crime (aka my mom!), I decided to go with two settings in Peacock (a bright blue) and two in Sunflower (a gorgeous yellow). (If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I originally purchased the Scarlet colorway instead of Sunflower, but decided after seeing everything in my kitchen that I liked the yellow better!)


The best prices I found online were either directly through Homer Laughlin’s website (I only wish their factory store in West Virginia was a closer drive!) or various department stores hosting after-Christmas sales (I ended up going with the department store option because I wouldn’t have to pay shipping). But the Homer Laughlin site has some great deals that I’m going to keep my eye on. Because now I need some serving pieces, salt and pepper shakers, and of course the iconic pitcher. I can’t wait to reshuffled my cabinets, say goodbye to the old (square and chipping) dinnerware, and add some Fiesta color to my kitchen!

I’m sure there are lots of other Fiestaware admirers and collectors who read this blog! I’d love to know what your favorite colors are; do you stick to just one or collect whatever catches you eye? (I have a feeling I’m going to end up in the latter category… hehe!)

January 2, 2013 · 99 lovely thoughts
posted in around the house · tags:

Kate January 8, 2013 at 03:01

I love this crockery so much, you’ve chosen such lovely colours.
Glad the newer fiestaware isn’t radioactive! Absolutely mad!

Reply

Tammy January 9, 2013 at 00:28

I have Fiestaware too! I got 8 place settings, all different colors from each other. They are so cheerful and fun! I also have two serving bowls and three “gusto” bowls (my husband uses those for cereal and they are great for serving dishes as well), along with sauce bowls that match the place settings. I love those sauce bowls, they are perfect for so many things! I would eventually like to add several platters and more serving dishes as well as some of the more decorative pieces for my kitchen. Also, I’d like several more place settings, just because the colors are all so hard to choose from!

I got them for birthday/Christmas 2009, and I’ve only had two pieces break since then (which I replaced). One was thrown off a highchair, it really didn’t stand a chance. ;) I love that they are so sturdy!

Reply

Jamie "ChatterBlossom" January 11, 2013 at 10:42

They are such happy pieces! Seeing these always made me want to be in the kitchen sharing a meal with my grandma. Love them!

Reply

Jemima January 11, 2013 at 17:08

I have a thing for crockery. I mix up pretty modern and vintage, so that if anything ever gets broken (which happens frequently) it doesn’t matter as nothing is matchy matchy anyway.
It seems lots of people were glad to see the back of the ’12. I am sure this year is going to be better.

Reply

Hannah January 17, 2013 at 15:52

I purchased my first pieces in Peacock, Turquoise and Shamrock from the company’s website – just dinner plates and a pitcher. I haven’t found any on my thrifting runs BUT last summer at the Madison Bouckeville Antique Week a vendor was selling seconds that they pick up every year at the sale in W. Virginia.
Their booth was a 30 foot long trailer and tent chock full of fiestaware in every color. If I remember correctly plates were $4, bowls were $6, pitchers $15 and everything else was at a similarlly reduced rate. I bought a few boxes full in just about every color and love it. Fiestaware goes especially well with vintage Pyrex, don’t you think?

Reply

Nancy January 19, 2013 at 10:20

I loved the Post-’86 (what they call the newer dishes after discontinuing the original productions in the ’70′s.) Simply could not make up my mind which color to choose, when in 1990 my daughter gave me some yellow and periwinkle blue. I was in heaven. Then began my quest to get other colors to mix and match. I have a huge kitchen, lots of storage. Over the years I have added every new color. I have 25 or 26 place settings, and various serving pieces in many colors. The mix possibilities are just endless. My plan is to enjoy them all until the grandkids get their own places one day and let them choose the colors they like. This month we’ve been using Cobalt Blue, White, and discontinued colors Grey and Evergreen. Next month I’ll use Scarlet and Rose for some Valentine fun. Black/Persimmon will appear at Halloween. You get the picture. I’m a fanatic.

Reply

Celia January 19, 2013 at 15:38

We love Fiesta at our house! Both dogs have their own sets of gusto bowls- our boy has turqoise and tangerine and our girl has pink and purple! Dishwasher safe and oh so fashionable.

Reply

Lorie at Ferndale Lane January 23, 2013 at 21:22

I love Fiestaware!! My first set (15 yrs ago) was in the Cornflower Blue, now I have added to that the colors of White and Pink with some Sunflower pieces. My kitchen is designed around my vintage Lu Ray Pastels dinnerware (pastel colors), my Jadite dinnerware and Azurite Blue Swirl dinnerware. So the pretty pink, white and blue Fiestaware (my everyday dishes) work wonderfully with the other dinnerware I collect. You will have fun adding more pieces as time goes on!

Reply

LBC February 21, 2013 at 15:22

Confession: I have a 5-piece placesetting in every. single. post-1986 color, including Sapphire and Lilac. I only use a few sets at a time, of course.

I like the non-primary colors: Turquoise, of course, is a classic retro; Apricot, Persimmon, Ivory. I recently found a pre-2002 child’s set at an antique/junk store. I have no idea if they still do kids’ sets but you could piece one together from demitasse cups, bread plates, and the small teapot.

Reply

LBC February 21, 2013 at 15:24

Aack–I was too quick on the draw.

I like Flamingo, the new pink, but I’m still hoping they do a red-orange (like the old Red but without the uranium) someday. Marigold and Ivory were a good start on the retro colors but I really think they need an Atomic Red.

Reply

Loran February 26, 2013 at 14:14

I know I’m late to the Fiesta party, I’m just catching up on my blog reading : ) I am an avid Fiesta collector, I think I own something in almost every color every made including the vintage pieces. I think my collection is into the thousands of items, some found in flea markets and some given to me. I actually did a blog with a friend because we owned SO MANY dishes and tablelinens that it was crazy to keep collecting for the sake of collecting. You can check out my blog at retrodecosettings.com.
As far as the “radioactive” quality that concerns you here is the scoop – the only color that used uranium was in the original red, which is really a vivid orange when compared to the new Scarlet. IF you only served tomato based recipes on your vintage red plates, and ate off of them three times a day for years AND NEVER washed them then you “might” pick up some radioactivity! Extremely small amounts were used, and once WWII erupted all uranium was used for the war effort and never made it back to the glazes. Yes, if you use a geiger counter it will show some radioactivity but so will the ground outside : ) It’s called “background radiation” and it is everywhere. You’re more exposed to radiation standing in the sun than eating off these dishes : )
You can also get specials by joining the Fiesta collectors club. They sell things like polka dotted dishes to club members that you can’t get retail. Homer Laughlin is American designed and American made using American materials. They are a prime example of a company doing it right! Wecome to the club : )

Reply

Susan March 1, 2013 at 13:11

When I got married, I registered all my Fiestaware serving pieces in white, half the place settings in white, and half the place settings in various other colors (all of which were discontinued shortly thereafter). I theorized that my good china was mostly white, so I could use the white serving pieces from the Fiestaware when I needed to supplement what I had in the good china. That worked really well, though I think if I did it all over again, I might not do it that way. One odd drawback is that various members of my family seem to dislike certain colors of plate, particularly the orange and green. It’s not a big deal, because I have plenty of other colors (and white) to serve them, but it is something I never anticipated.

Reply

fiestaware June 4, 2013 at 01:00

Great work done by author of this blog. I never seen such a beautiful and informative blog. Also the looks of the blog is awesome. Keep posting please.

Reply

Kathy June 6, 2013 at 13:35

I began collecting Fiesta a few years ago. I have an assortment of colors. I find this nice when I can pull out orange and red and gold during the fall, or green and red for Christmas. It seems we never have the same table setting. So fun! Beware though. Fiesta is addictive. I can’t pass a second hand store without looking. I am searching for the rare pieces now; and, hope to go to Newnan, WV soon to check out the factory and antique stores around.
Have fun and I may see some of you in Fiesta Anonimous!

Reply

fiesta ware June 22, 2013 at 02:04

So, as a first timer here I wanted to say that your site is completely superb! We’re interested in starting a volunteer community initiative in this niche. The tips on your blog were extremely helpful to us, as it gave us something to work on. Thanks.

fiesta ware

Reply

fiestaware July 20, 2013 at 01:55

I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog, I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Reply

Care to comment? Thank you ever so much for taking time to share your comment! Although I try to answer questions, I am not always able to respond to each comment individually. But please know that I appreciate from the bottom of my heart every comment I receive!

Previous post:

Next post: