Fiesta Good Times

fiesta jan 17 2015

Open-shelf storage of Fiesta in my kitchen, Heidelberg Germany

Fiesta is a line of dishes made in America at the Homer Laughlin China Co.  I love almost all these colors, shapes, and sizes.  Just when I think I have all I need, I find one more thing that would be “just perfect.”  These are our everyday dishes and sometimes things break.  And that’s ok.

I was first given a box of odds and end pieces in December 1997; they were leftover dishes from an auction.  Our friend had been to Thanksgiving dinner at our home and noticed we could benefit from a lovely starter collection of Fiesta.  There is a special place in my heart for that first gift of Fiesta.

So…. when does Fiesta influence cake design?

I found this cake stand at Selfridges in London and the table cloth in DC and had to put them together.  I looked at my Fiesta and asked, “What looks amazing with turquoise?” The Chocolate brown is a perfect contrast so I carried it over to the cake design.

choc retro waves tss 308

almond cherry cake slices burano 145 tss

Sometimes I stage the photo shoot in one color… then reshoot the photos with another color.

white cake green swirls plates

cracker jack blue green comparison

coconut macadamia quadFrom 1936 to 1946, HLC produced a small comport they called the Sweets.  This small shape was only produced in the original six colors (production of Vintage Red ceased in 1944 due to the need of uranium for the US war effort).  The intent of this piece was to serve small bits of candy, fudge, caramels, etc.  Today… it makes a perfect cupcake stand!!

fiesta sweets choc cupcakes 604 tss choc cupcakes easter island 335 tss fruit loop cupcake 320 tss

Of course I’d love to see all the colors in this shape, but that simply isn’t the case.  In order to make a cupcake stand in all the colors I need…I often upend the demitasse cup and saucer or use an egg cup and saucer for the same effect.

rainbow cupcake circle 747 carrot cake cupcake 096 tss

chocolate cupcakes choc toppers 768 tss

I love integrating all the bits and pieces I have at hand to put together a photograph.  It is the case that I sometimes might need to edit and it is the case that I love what I get to do and love the results no matter what!

In this snapshot, I might have thrown in the kitchen sink!

thanksgiving desserts 763 tss

And simple is delightful.  When I have a beautiful cake, it is sometimes more powerful to leave it on its own and not add a thing.

choc strawberry cake 772 tss plum walnut cake 071 insta

But most of the time, I sit a cake in the middle of the table and ask out loud, “Now, what goes with you?” then turn to my open shelves of Fiesta ware and start taking things down.  Sometimes I reach for a few items…

blue velvet 538 tss strawberry roses slice 103 tss

coconut macadamia 647 tss

….and sometimes more dishes come off the shelf.

red velvet button cake 707 tss white cake green swirls stack 050 tss

Sometimes, when I envision a cake I can already see what the photo will look like.  Sometimes, all I have to work with is “I must put these flavors together – it’s going to  be awesome!”…and no idea what it will look like.  Either way, I get to stretch my creative muscles – and that’s a good thing.

Part of the sparkle of collecting and using Fiesta is the hunt for colors, shapes, and sizes that are no longer being produced.  Thrift stores, garage sales, yard sales, auctions, and antique malls are good starting points to finding “Fiesta in the wild.”  Sometimes I’m able to find an item  I’ve been looking for an online auction website or through my friends who collect.  Recently, Country Living Magazine featured Fiesta in an amazing photo spread … and all I thought was, “I’m so on trend with this!”

My partner and my Fiesta – breakfast wouldn’t be complete without both.

And neither would my cake.

red ombre vanilla slices tss







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