The Teacup Collectors Interview Series is a blog segment where we get a sneak peek inside the cupboards of people all over the world. My special guest today is Fuchsia, a Global Investment Manager from London, England whose collection is available for hire !
Teacup collecting has quite the cult following. How did you discover it? Tell us your story.
It all began with collecting for my wedding, which is due to take place in a few weeks! I had seen delicate, mismatched china tea sets and plates become popular for a while, but it wasn’t until I saw my favourite cup, a retro poppy Meakin mug, in my cupboard that the idea of collecting bright retro and kitsch teacups and plates from the 60s and 70s was born. I felt that the carefree and bohemian vibe that these items brought would look amazing at my laid-back wedding.
Once I had built up quite a collection I decided that rather than letting my collection gather dust after the wedding, I would offer my collection up for hire for weddings, tea parties, hen dos – any event where a bit of 60s and 70s china would help liven up proceedings! Since starting to collect, I have realised that many other people also love the retro, more bohemian look and have been looking for alternatives to the more pretty, delicate sets (and I see that you have a fab retro Meakin tea set in your Etsy shop!). The seventies boho era has brought a lot of inspiration over on the wedding blogs, and the sixties continues to have an eternal appeal.
I now have about 10 big boxes of tea cups, plates, tea pots, cake stands and milk jugs, as well as picnic blankets and pineapple ice buckets, which I just couldn’t resist!
What was your first piece?
I bought a classic J& G Meakin poppy mug for about 30p in a charity shop years ago. My mum thought it was hilarious that I was attracted the kitsch patterns she had rejected in her youth.
The first teacups I bought from when I started collecting in earnest are some beautiful lilac coloured sets with what looks like handpainted flowers in bright, 60s colours (pictured). The bottom of the piece says that it was made in Romania, but I have since seen several of these items when I’ve been ‘scavenging’.
Tell me a little about what you collect. Is it a particular style, period, colour or just a random draw to a particular piece?
As I mentioned earlier, all my pieces come from the 60s and 70s, what I like to call the ‘flower power’ era. I don’t collect every piece from this era, because let’s face it, not all pieces are special!
Each item has to convey the vibe of the 60s or 70s, whether that be through vibrant mod flowers, patterns harking back to the arts and crafts movement (which became popular in the 60s, perhaps the first era where vintage became popular!) or ethnic-inspired items which bring to mind the hippies’ travels along the silk route.
Share 3 images from your collection and tell us a little about each?
- Eclipse by Empire Potteries. I have this design on tea cups and a coffee pot. I love the combination of bright, sunset colours. This also comes in the colours of the German flag, although I don’t have it in my collection!
- I love the psychedelic mix of colours and the stylised flower pattern, which is from Pontesa, as Spanish pottery. This was one of the sets which inspired me when I styled the pantone psychedelic 60s for a blog post a while ago (http://peace-love-and-daisy-chains.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/styling-psychedelic-sixties-colour.html)
- Blue & Orange Mod Flowers Set. I don’t know the name of this pattern, which I acquired through an Instagram sale! I love the brightness of the random mod flowers, it always brings a smile to my face!
Where do you find your inspiration for what to collect?
I am inspired by what I see. I do have a very clear idea of what would make it into my highly curated collection, and what doesn’t quite cut it, and can scan a collection of old china in seconds to see if there is anything that would fit in well. Generally, bright colours, ethnic patterns and kitschy mod flowers cut the mustard!
My hire company is called Peace, Love & Daisy Chains, and can be found on www.peace-love-and-daisy-chains.com, which shows some pictures of the collection plus our hire prices, which include washing up. I have a collection of 160 cups and saucers and both tea and dinner plates, which are all available to hire (UK only). I also have table cloths, crochet blankets, kitsch ice buckets and a picnic hamper which I lined myself in retro daisy print!
Do you have any recommendations for new users who say “ I don’t know where to start?”
I would say be guided by what makes you smile. Once you have started looking at what is around, you will get a feel of what is a good price to pay, and what is a bit of a rip off! Have a good rummage at charity shops and car boots sales – you will probably have a family member or two who can’t wait to off load some vintage china they may have fallen out of love with!
Stuck on a desert island, what are your 3 must have items?
A book (I have just finished the lovely Wonder by R J Palacios), sun cream (I burn so easily!) and an infusion of Russian Caravan tea in my geometric enamel pot.
What’s your latest purchase? Best bargain?
The last set of tea cups I have added to my collection is in a blue geometric design, by Staffordshire. I love the way that in the 60s and 70s, as people started travelling out of the UK more, our design inspiration also shifted further afield. The design on these cups is very reminiscent of the Moorish design in South Spain, and I just love it. I would love to design the interior of my house to match, but I don’t think my husband-to-be would agree!
Any other hobbies?
I am a typical scanner, and have many obsessions! I love travelling, reading, anthropology, translating and practicing the languages I learned at University (Spanish and Italian).
Most Teacup collectors also seem to love tea or coffee. What’s your favourite tea/coffee?
I love the smoky flavour of Russian Caravan. I often drink it out of my geometric yellow and red enamel teapot, which I picked up in Slovenia. It’s just the type of teapot you could put in a camp fire.
Fuschia, thank you so much for sharing your collection with us! Do pop back with some photos of the china in use on your big day.
For all you wonderful readers and/or Brides to be who want to connect with Fuchsia, you will find all the details below.
Blog: http://peace-love-and-daisy-chains.blogspot.co.uk/ (There’s an interesting interview with Yay Retro which might interest fans of retro china!
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/peaceloveanddaisychains