You’ve most likely heard of Fiestaware but exactly what is it? Well, for starters, it might just be America’s favorite dinnerware. Fiestaware is a collection of brightly colored dinnerware that includes plates, cups, saucers, mugs and serving pieces.
Fiestaware was introduced in January of 1936 by the Homer Laughlin China Company at the Pittsburgh China & Glass Show. The creation of Frederick Hurten Rhead, a second generation potter, it was an instant hit with the public and by it’s second year more than one million pieces had been produced. This new type of dinnerware was different from the norm at the time because it was open stock and encouraged mixing and matching of pieces.
The first colors were cobalt blue, yellow, red, ivory and green. In 1937 turquoise was added. The colors didn’t change until the early 50’s when a shift was made to pastel colors. Fiestaware continued to follow the fashion trends back to the bright colors in the early 60’s and then to earth tones in the late 60’s. Sales began to fall at the end of 1972 and Fiestaware was retired in 1973. This made the dinnerware popular with collectors and as more people started collecting the original retired pieces the values began to climb.
In 1986 the Homer Laughlin China Company rolled out a new line of Fiestaware to commemorate its 50th anniversary. Since the company had become the country’s leading producer of restaurant china, the new Fiestaware incorporated the durability and quality of their other products using lead-free glazes and a fully vitrified clay body. Much of the line was created with the same molds used for the original Fiestaware but the different type of clay being used resulted in some shrinkage during the manufacturing process. While modern pieces of Fiestaware look the same as the originals, they are noticeably smaller when compared side by side. The new pieces are also smoother and shinier than the original line because the process used to glaze the dinnerware was improved. Fiestaware was again an instant hit.
So, not only is there a whole new generation of Fiestaware lovers out there, but collectors continue to add to their collections of the dinnerware they were first introduced to by their mothers and grandmothers. To date, over a half billion pieces have been produced and Fiestaware is the most collected dinnerware in the history of the tabletop industry.
Since the reintroduction of Fiestaware new colors and a new square shape have been added. There have been a total of 44 colors of Fiestaware since it was first introduced over 75 years ago.
Homer Laughlin China Company now introduces one new color each year. There are currently 14 different colors available: white, black, cobalt, turquoise, sunflower, plum, shamrock, tangerine, scarlet, peacock, lemongrass, ivory, paprika and flamingo. This dinnerware is not only colorful and fun, but also practical for everyday use. With Fiestaware, you can be creative and put together your perfect tabletop!