Sunday, June 1, 2014

Thrift Finds: End of the school year

Hello friends,

Before I share my few finds, I want to tell you a wonderful story. A succession of events that left me very happy. See, a while ago I found this beautifully crafted wooden spoon. The style and quality of the piece echoed the work of famous wood crafter Emil Milan. I listed the spoon on my Etsy store and included the Milan bit on the listing. Soon after, the spoon sold and the buyer asked me about the provenance of the spoon. I told him I had found it at a rummage sale in SoCal. Later, when the spoon arrived, my customer sent me the following e-mail:
Hi Beartriz, Spoon arrived just fine today. I'm curious to know what about the spoon reminded you of Emil Milan's work so much that you would advertise it that way? Have you sold some of his pieces? Spoons? How are you familiar with his work? I'll explain after your answer. Norm
At this point I was very curious, I answered and He wrote back:
I am a spoon carver. www.normsartorius.com/ My first teacher learned woodworking from Emil Milan. For the past 7 years I have been part of a 3 man research team documenting the life and work of Milan. We have written about him. www.normsartorius.com/images/Emil%20Milan%20in%20Woodwork%20Magazine%5B1...We're having a show of his work that opens next week. www.normsartorius.com/images/Emil%20Milan%20Invitation%208%20x%2010%20in... Last, to wrap it up. I think I made that little spoon near the beginning of my career. I used to sell to a woman in CA named Ramona Lampell who had a store called Appalachian Art. Late 70's, early 80s. My wife may remember it's location. I may not have signed work then but it seems like one of mine. This is why I wondered about your description of the spoon as being like Emil Milan's
Isn't this wonderful? I love my job so much!


This has been a busy week for our family. The end of the school year with award ceremonies, prom dance, and multiple activities is taking every single bit of my free time. We also have visitors from Colombia and Mexico, add all of these and you have a clear picture of my finds. Basically I didn't have much time to go out thrifting. Pardon my slim picks.


Beautiful Fantoni bottle vase, my first! I love his shoulder vases and his small figurines as well. Next time, a shoulder vase in orange and brown!


A rare salt and pepper shaker set designed by Lagardo Tackett. It will be listed in the store soon!

What do you think of my finds this week? What did you find? Share with us at A Living SpaceSir Thrift a Lot and Thrifter Maker Fixer Farm.

If you would like more information on any of my finds you can always contact me. I give discounted prices to my blog readers.


12 comments:

  1. The story about Norm Sartorius being reunited with one of his early works was wonderful. Thanks for sharing that with us.

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    1. It is one of the highlights of my career as a reseller :)

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  2. Really enjoyed the story about the spoon and great finds this week!

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    1. Thanks Ellen. I do what I can to keep you coming! ;)

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  3. Woah can you imagine getting it back? I think it would trip me out every single time I walked past it. Super cool story! See now this is the type of research and knowledge that I think puts you heads above most antique sellers/collectors. Dude you rock.

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    1. It is a small world! And thank you! Love your comments and how you make me feel it is worth to keep writing this blog!

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  4. Oh that's very interesting it was his spoon! I actually had some contact with Norm earlier. He'd purchased one of the pseudo- Emil Milan birds by Einar Lilleberg of Green Valley Lake from us, and was wondering if there was any connection. I wasn't able to provide any since didn't know, but it was interesting. Too bad the Emil Milan show isn't closeby, I'd like to check it out.

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    1. Let's drive there together!!! We will have to live the show vicariously through Ann Rosenthal and Daniel&Karen :)

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  5. I just found your blog, I love the story of being reunited with his artwork. so cool!

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  6. what a story about the gorgeous spoon - special! thanks for showing us the emails!

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    1. Thanks Aniko! It is special indeed.

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