It all began with a simple request. I sent messages to several eBay dinnerware collectors, asking them to share a little bit about their vintage dish collections. I never expected to get a response from someone as interesting and talented as vintage Corelle dinnerware collector (she also collects Ruby Red Depression glass) Lora Duguay.
Hopefully my buyers did not think I was some creepy eBay seller. Some of the responses to my request were discouraging.
One male buyer wrote: I think I’ll pass.
Some did not even use a complete sentence in their answer, but simply wrote the name of the pattern collected- Boring.
Another replied: Just go look at our website on www.suchandsuch- Impersonal.
Going to a dry web page and passively looking at pictures of a dish store was not my idea of connecting. I wanted to get to know my buyers a bit better, and read a real story. Then, I heard the swishy underwater sound that my phone makes when I get a message from eBay. It was from Caravan Treasure (her eBay user name). It read:
I wrote you a book– Yes! That’s exactly what I was hoping for.
We corresponded over several days, and she graciously sent pictures of her Ruby Red Americana, and Corelle Blue Velvet Collections. She also sent a picture of the Harley Davidson plates her husband has collected since the 1980s.
Lora has been bound to a wheelchair since 2000. She suffers from Post- polio syndrome (PPS). According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Post-polio syndrome is a condition that effects polio survivors years after recovering from an initial acute attack of the poliomyelitis virus. Most often, polio survivors start to experience gradual new weakening in muscles that were previously affected by the polio infection.
Not to be daunted by limitations, she wrote:
I’m a retired medical transcriptionist, now artist, since my Post-polio Syndrome has affected my life. You can visit my art at this link and read a bit about me and browse my art. www.lora-duguay.pixels.com
After visiting her website, I found that she is also a miniaturist. According to Wikipedia:
An often-used definition is that a piece of miniature art can be held in the palm of the hand, or that it covers less than 25 square inches or 100 cm². Subjects are depicted in 1/6 actual size, and in all paintings the spirit of miniaturisation should be maintained.
I especially love her Christmas pieces, and the way she embraces her Gypsy heritage.
How Lora Met Her Husband, and Aquired Her First Ruby Red Depression Glass Pieces
So how did she become a dish collector? It all started years ago when she was a single mother. She didn’t have any dishes, so a nice man gave her two “Ruby Red” plates and a cup.
I was living on my own 34 years ago with my baby son. I met a nice gentleman, my current husband. I didn’t have dishes at the time, and he gave me two Ruby Red dishes and a coffee cup. I was 28 and knew nothing about Depression glass. A friend of mine got in my car one day and saw the cup in my car. I was drinking coffee out of it on the way to work. She said, “Oh, you’re a collector of Depression glass?” I eventually married my husband.
A love story that started with dish collecting? What could be better?
She and her husband collected many of her Ruby Red dishes from their RV camping trips.
On the last morning before we were camping, we would look up a nearby flea market or shop and go there before heading out of town.
Her Corelle Blue Velvet Collection
To be honest, Corelle collectors are people after my own heart. it is a love I cannot explain. To read other posts about vintage Corelle, use this link: https://lovemylittlecottage.com/corelle-livingware-old-town-blue-behind-the-vintage-item-6/
Why does Lora collect and use Corelle?
Corelle is lightweight and works well for me, because heavy dish wear is hard for me to handle with my condition.
Why did she choose Corelle’s vintage Blue Velvet pattern?
I chose the Blue Velvet Rose as I was looking for a set of Corelle, but nothing caught my eye that was new. I happened to be at a flea market and a lady had eight plates, four bowls and four cups and saucers. I saw them and fell in love with the pattern.
Lora is not alone in her love for Corelle’s vintage Blue Velvet pattern. Featuring a large rose surrounded by blue leaves and buds, it coordinates with CorningWare’s Blue Velvet Bakeware.
Although there are many things to admire about Lora, my favorite is her philosophy on life and collecting:
I believe in using my beautiful pieces because life is short, and I want to use the beautiful things now.
Me too, Lora, me too.
If you have a story you’d like to share about dish collecting, I’d love to hear from you!