My Love Affair with Fiesta® Dinnerware

I’ve never been one to set an all-white table. Don’t get me wrong, I think they’re lovely, especially for a formal meal, but I’ve always been one for colour. Lucky for me, I discovered Fiesta® Dinnerware last year.

Made by the Homer Laughlin China Co. in the US, Fiesta Ware was originally designed  in 1936. The line’s bold design, clean shapes and strong colours reflect its art deco roots. Each piece is monochromatic and glazed to a high gloss. Currently available in fifteen colours, they complement each other, encouraging a mix of colours. I started with Ivory, thinking it would be a neutral base from which to add other colours. Then came Peacock since I’m a sucker for anything blue. We received some Turquoise as a wedding gift and I most recently added Red and Cobalt (there’s that blue again!) to the mix. I love the idea of setting a table with many colours creating a sunshiny, casual feel.

Speaking of colours, that’s where Fiesta® has hit on marketing genius. Every year they remove one colour from production and introduces another. This creates demand in collectors who are looking to round out their pieces with all one colour. This year they added Flamingo, a salmon pink to their production.

They are not sold at any large Canadian retailers, at least not in Western Canada. I’ve purchased all of the pieces I’ve bought for myself at Macy’s in Washington State.

So far we have eight full place settings (large plate, small plate, shallow bowl, mug) each setting sold as a boxed set. We have four Ivory, two Peacock and two Turquoise. As wedding gifts we received the Vegetable Serving Platter and Bowl set in Ivory, as well as a Red Pedestal Bowl and Salt & Pepper Shakers and Covered Butter Dish in Cobalt. I recently bought two more dinner plates and side plates (we now have ten of each) and two luncheon plates. I love the luncheon plates because at 9 inches in diameter (as opposed to  10 and a half inches for dinner plates or 7 inches for side plates) they are the perfect size for a sandwich.

We also have a really beautiful Disc Pitcher in peacock. I completely fell for the art deco lines of this piece. I’d love to use it as a flower jug but my husband has requested that I keep it only for potable liquids. That’s fine, I’ll use of my bazillion other vases for flowers, but I still think it would look fabulous with some yellow tulips or daisies in it.

My one complaint about the boxed set is that mugs aren’t very easy to hold. The finger trap is just a small hole in a circular handle with only room for one finger. This forces the drinker to use the backs of their other fingers of the mug-holding hand to brace against the (usually very hot) mug. So we bought two open stock mugs that offered a much larger finger trap.

My favourite piece is the Gusto Bowl. It is deep and very full with straight sides and no rim. At the moment we have three of them, which is a strange number. I definitely want a fourth so we can at least use them if we have another couple over. For now I love them for cereal and as big mise-en-place prep bowls.

Truthfully, I regret buying four Ivory settings. At the time my thinking was that they’d be a nice neutral base to all the other colours. In actuality they have become a boring neutral base to the other bright colours, the plain sister next to her glamorous family members. I know it’s silly, but when an ivory plate is at the top of the stack in the cupboard, I feel a little sad and I admit to occasionally taking a brighter plate if it’s not too far down the stack.

On my shopping list for Fiesta I have:

  • One more Gusto bowl, probably in the blue family
  • Two more Luncheon plates (we have one Cobalt and one Red, so maybe a Turquoise and a Peacock)
  • I would absolutely love to have a Fiesta cake stand as well, but so far they don’t make one.  (Oh well, maybe someday. A girl can dream, right?)

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