14241 Mon, 04/14/2008 - 12:26pm
NEW YORK–Move over whiteware, color and pattern are back in style.
At the New York spring tabletop show, which ended yesterday, vendors, who have acknowledged the popularity and salability of plain white dinnerware, nonetheless put their most colorful foot forward with an array of designs inspired by nature (both flora and fauna) and enhanced with modern finishing techniques.
The organic movement is strong, interpreted in the tabletop industry through color and design. Soft, muted green is one of the most popular shades right now, although blue-and-yellow combinations and accents of purple and turquoise were also spotted in the market. Formal introductions had the most detailed border treatments in years, an antidote, perhaps to the simple, platinum-banded bone china that dominated for so long. Accent plates continued to add colorful variety; Noritake has replaced the salad plate in its five-piece place setting with the more eye-catching, and some would say more functional, 9-inch accent plate.
Leaves, branches, flowers and petals were interpreted in almost every showroom (there were plenty of patterns with “park” in their name, too). Fruits and harvest themes were plentiful. Animals were represented, too, with various “skin” looks or with the animals, typically those found on a safari, pictured.
There was a continuation of textile-inspired looks, such as paisley (enlarged and modified) and damask. The most colorful introductions at the show were those inspired by tile mosaics, from Italy and Mexico, and folk art.
Texture and finishing techniques were also emphasized. There were new executions of reactive glazes, such as copper glazing, hand-painted reactives in stoneware and glazing over debossing. Metallic finishes, in platinum, gold or copper, are ever-popular, as either rim treatments or as washes. Matte metallics finishes were shown, and many of them are dishwasher- and microwave-safe. Whiteware introductions also featured textured finishes.
Shape wasn’t as big of a story at this show as it has been in the past, although there is a move to saucer champagne glasses and to more coupe-shaped dinnerware.
Written sentiments, a theme that has been popular in frames for many years, has translated into dinnerware and giftware. Mugs or small trays, for instance, were inscribed with loving thoughts of friends or family.