Tea Time

Shopping in thrift stores is the one thing I love to do about as much as I love taking photos. Like anyone afflicted with the thrift store obsession, I have certain things I like to collect. Among these are mid-century California pottery, cameras (of course), some Japanese porcelain figurines, and tea sets. I don’t even care if there’s a little damage to some of the pieces or if the set isn’t complete.

A week ago, I happened upon a couple of early 1930s harp tables and decided that I would use them as a base for taking some still photography shots of some of the tea sets I have. Using the same extremely shallow depth of field to showcase a certain detail or design, I took to task. The photos you see here are some of the highlights. Incidentally, these photos were taken with a Pentax K-1000 that was also thrifted somewhere in the midwest by my partner in crime. I cleaned it up and replaced its light seals the night before these were taken. Anyway, here we go!

First up, the most complete set I have. Some gorgeous hand-painted Chikaramachi from Japan. The teapot’s spout has some damage, which is the place most teapots are injured. Even with this damage, the colors and scenery in these pieces was just too gorgeous to pass on. I wonder whose pantry these were sitting in for 70+ years? Strangely fascinating.

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Next is a tetsubin with three tea cups and holders. I’ve had the tetsubin for at least a year and a half, but these cups and holders came along a couple of weeks ago. I had been hoping to find something that would even remotely go with the set. Luckily, these came along.

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Finally, my most recent find was several pieces of a Nippon Noritake pattern. The teapot is badly damaged on one side, which I may show in a later project. For now, I wanted to let this girl show off her beauty in all its glory. Sadly, this is the only cup I was able to get. Luckily, there’s a saucer to go with it. I  hope I can get my hands on more of this pattern.

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And to end this post, here’s my shameless plug for Kodak Portra 400. I was so excited about using the Pentax K-1000 for this project, I forgot to set the ASA on the camera to 400. The camera was set on 200 the entire time.  On top of that, many of these shots were overexposed on purpose by about 1/2 stop. With latitude like this, I’ve already ordered and received another 15 rolls. Now if Autumn will just get here already.

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