Collecting Collections

Contributor post by Lisa Congdon

I'm back this month with an up close look at some of my kitchen collectables. As I mention in my book, A Collection a Day , my favorite collection is probably my mid-century kitchenware -- most of which is Scandinavian and Japanese. I love the colors, the designs, the simplicity.

photo by Philip Maisel
I started collecting kitchenware about 10 years ago. It began with a Catherineholm piece I found at an antique mall, and it grew from there. Much of my vintage kitchenware I don't use -- it's either too fragile or too precious to me, so I display it in my kitchen instead.

photos by Jen Siska for Dwell Magazine

Recently I did an interview with Drew of Kitsch Cafe about collecting. In that interview I talk a little bit there about taking good care of your collections, which in many cases means not using them (or at least not using them for every day use) to protect them from wear and tear.

But I do use several of my kitchen collectables! In fact, you can see many vintage things in my kitchen thrown in with every day spoons, pots and bowls.

When it comes to your collections, how do you make decisions about what to use versus what to display? Tell us what you think.


Lisa Congdon is an artist, author and prolific collector of old and unusual things, including bits of nature, and surrounds herself with these things in her home and studio. In 2010 she chronicled all of her collections in her Collection A Day 2010 Project. That project is now a book, published in March 2011.


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