Cu­rate & Col­lect

Atomic Ranch - - Editor’s Letter - Sarah Jane Stone

Sum­mer­time is upon us, and for those who love to col­lect, the sea­son comes with an ex­cit­ing part­ner in crime—the flea mar­ket. When the weather warms and the sun shines, up pop canopies in park­ing lots un­der which count­less trea­sures spread.

It was at a flea mar­ket where I first fell in love with vin­tage hand­made ceram­ics. I saw an in­cred­i­bly unique bud vase—brown with bits of blue and a skinny neck—and im­me­di­ately knew it would be tak­ing a cen­ter-stage spot on my open book­shelf. With no sig­na­ture and a sim­ple “‘62” drawn into the rough, un­fin­ished base, I like to think of it as orig­i­nally hav­ing been some­one’s high school art project.

Since that fate­ful morn­ing, many hand­made ce­ramic pieces have found their way into my heart—each one a lit­tle more quirky and fun than the last, and each with­out a big name at­tached. There’s a blue and white vase signed by Dave on my man­tle, a pur­ple and grey bowl on my desk where flash drives live, a su­gar bowl with an adorable wal­nut lid, a tiny cup that hosts stamps and en­ve­lope seals, plus so many more. I try to give each piece a home that shows off its beauty as well as its per­fect im­per­fec­tions.

Whether you en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence of scour­ing through flea mar­kets or not, the joy of bring­ing home a new-to-you mid­cen­tury trea­sure is shared here. These col­lecta­bles are part of what make real homes our dream homes—and that is ex­actly what the sum­mer is­sue is all about. From Emil Mi­lan birds (page 22) to Scan­di­na­vian and Ital­ian home goods (pages 52 and 56), we’re tak­ing a close look at the beauty of mid­cen­tury col­lecta­bles. Our homes, all of which find them­selves amid the Southwest, range from Space Race lov­ing (page 28) to in­cred­i­bly lucky renters (page 40) and even a jaw-drop­ping case study (page 48).

This sum­mer, I hope that you find your fa­vorite col­lectable. Whether you dis­cover ex­actly what it is you want to cu­rate, or fi­nally track down that dream piece you’ve been look­ing for—may this sum­mer be filled with the joy of col­lect­ing lit­tle pieces of the mid­cen­tury era.

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