Thereâ€™s just something about...
Fill in the blank.
If you love history and its tangible
remnants, you’re bound to have one or
five—or a hundred. The one that first
caught your eye—so colorful, so quirky,
so perfectly shapedâ€”set you on the
hunt. Having one wasnâ€™t enough to fill that shelf in the
cupboard, so you bought another at a local yard sale. Next
thing you knew, you were scouring the corners of dusty
antiques shops or tracking potential buys on auction sites.
And so you have a collection.
We see them in every issue—cupboard shelves piled
high with carefully folded coverlets, fireplaces filled with
wrought-iron pots, mantels lined with Staffordshire figures,
walls hung with folk art portraits.
Maybe the urge is built into our DNA. What kid
didn’t have a collection of rocks or seashells or baseball
cards? My collection of rocks, carefully separated by size
and color, filled egg cartons in the attic of my childhood
home for decades until my Mother decided it was about
time I found room for them in my own house.
The homeowners we feature in this issue took different
routes to their collections. The DiPasquas have
assembled objects over a lifetime spent in eastern Ohio.
While Joe taught school, Adeline focused on raising their
three children and taking a mid-20th-Century home back
in time, collecting on a budget to create a warm, inviting
interior more akin to colonial times.
Childhood visits to Amish and Mennonite farms with
her father left Adeline with a lasting impression of those
families’ reverence for simplicity and tradition. As she
decorated, her memories of women in long dresses collecting
fresh eggs manifested themselves in cloth bonnets
hung from pegs, assorted baskets dangling from ceiling
beams, kitchen crockery and tableware lining pantry and
In Massachusetts, the collections filling the 1771
home owned by Victor and Donna Gulotta speak of
their literary leanings—Victor as the owner of a publishing
company and Donna as an English professor. The
spacious walls of their Georgian home are hung with
framed documents related to the lives of American poets
and politicians, while cabinets display antiquities and
As an adult, my fondness for rocks yielded to the
allure of pottery, still derived from the earth but more colorful
and more practical. Most of my collection encompasses
objects made by the traditional potters whose work
often graces our pages—because it—s not only beautiful but
I can use it in my kitchen and on my table.
I was surprised to learn while researching this issue’s
article about American-made yellow ware pottery that it
remains surprising affordable and available. Like so many
things American, the production of yellow ware came
here from England, literally in the hands of immigrant
Staffordshire potters who set up potteries from New England
to Maryland and into the Midwest—wherever they
could find the easily worked yellow clay that gave the ware
Although these potters relied on molds to mass produce
their household wares for the widest possible market,
they created so many forms—from ubiquitous bowls
to the odd shoe-shaped flask—that it’s hard not to find
something appealing, especially once these potters introduced
slip decoration and colored glazes for their myriad
wares. I might just have to add a hound-handle pitcher to
What objects inspire your imagination?