metals III ~ enamelware

The next metal in my series is enamelware which lends itself to summertime for me.
I love enamelware, old, new, used, whatever.  I’m always drawn to it.
Enamelware 1
Enamelware originated in germany in the 1700s in order to find a medium that would not alter the taste of food.  Cast iron vessels were lined inside with enamel in order to prevent metallic taste and rust passing on to food.   How sad that the enamel was on the inside not to be appreciated on the outside, which I absolutely love.  Enamelware from there progressed and spread throughout Europe, but did not make it across the pond until the mid 1800s (over a hundred years later…wow!).
Enamelware 2
Enamelware permeated into households for kitchenware, laundry uses, even the bedroom (think chamber pots) also in the medical industry and even for street signs.  Of course the mass produced kitchenware pieces from the late 1800s early 1900s are the coveted, collector pieces.  The colors were varied as well as the patterns, including speckled, mottled and marbled.   As you can see my pieces are mostly in the white | off-white family.
Enamelware 3
These are the pieces that started my collection.  I got most of them if not all of them well over a decade ago at Joann’s Fabrics.  it was my outdoor entertaining kit; a beverage tub, ice bucket, 2 citronella candles and a florist bucket.  The candles are long gone and I use the buckets for bread, chips, fruit etc. while entertaining.
Enamelware 4
Several years ago I added some additional pieces and I love the silver rims.  This is a very  “new” enamel look but it ties in nicely with my beverage bucket.  The vintage pieces tend to have blue or red edges, which I am sure you’ve all seen.
Enamelware 5
The tray is one of my go to pieces whenever I bring something to someone else’s home or potluck party, etc.  For example I just brought caprese skewers to a 4th of July party in the tray, but I’ve used it for fruit, cookies and other desserts, as a cheese platter and so on.  It’s super light so really easy to transport and I always get compliments.
Enamelware 6
I have some daily, functional pieces as well.  I use the colander for obvious tasks but it also sits on top of my counter holding seasonal vegetables, readily available for cooking.  The caddy holds all my wooden spoons by my range and the sugar bowl is self explanatory.
Enamelware 7
I got the colander and sugar bowl at Homegoods  on different occasions, while I found the caddy thrifting.  That was a happy find with the right colors and bee | frenchy motif.  It could not be more perfect as I was wondering why I was wandering through the thrift store since I really didn’t “need” anything and voila!  Gotta love that.  That’s why you should always thrift, because you never know…just saying.
Enamelware 8
Since the majority of my enamelware collection revolves around summertime it would make sense to have some festive pieces for the summer holidays, independence, memorial and labor day.  I picked up the tray thrifting and i’ve only used it decoratively.  I picked up the little buckets years ago for a party where they were used for utensil caddies, but they have housed snacks, candy, garnishes at a bar station, etc.
Enamelware 9
The last piece I picked up was the bowl which I also found at a thrift shop and I have never really used it or had much use for it.  While reviewing all these photos it hit me to use it as an extra water bowl for bailey in the laundry room.  Bowl has purpose!
Enamelware 10
I would love to have a vintage collection for show & decorating,  but that might be for later on in life.  Right now this is my oldest piece and I love it as a succulent filled basin.  I’ve had if for quite a few years now and at first I was worried the soil would seep out from the holes but it has worked like a charm.  and it’s quite charming, don’t you think?
Enamelware 11
The basin is a pale butter color with a green rim, which I know is hard to tell through all the rust patina in the pictures.  I found it a local, monthly flea market and I knew I wanted it as soon as I saw it although I did not know for what at the time.  I know you understand.  {wink}.
You can see my other metal series i’ve featured here:
metals II ~ sterling silver
metals I ~ silverplate
what started it all ~ copper
Happy Collecting !
sharing @:
vintage charm party @ charm bracelet diva
home& garden @ a delightsome life
syc @ have a daily cup of mrs. olson
home sweet home @ the charm of home
the inspiration gallery @ craftberry bush
shabbilicious friday @ shabby art boutique
feathered nest friday @ french country cottage
simple&sweet @ rooted in thyme
morning cup of joe @ the cottage market
friday feature @ oh my heartsie girl
friday’s 5 features @ diy-vintage-chic
pinworthy projects @ my suburban kitchen
craft frenzy friday @ craft dictator
party palooza @ i heart naptime
saturday sparks @ pieced pastimes
share it 1 more time @ the everyday home
sundays at home @ love of home
creative corner @ curly crafty mom
amaze me monday @ dwellings-the heart of your home
show&share @ coastal charm
metamorphis monday @ between naps on the porch
the scoop @ stonegable
celebrate your story @ sweet sensations
inspire me monday @ my uncommon slice of suburbia
make it pretty monday @ the dedicated house
inspire me tuesday @ a stroll thru life
talk of the town @ knick of time
the inspiration board @ carolyn’s homework
wow @ savvy southern style
wake-up wednesday @ god’s growing garden
dishing it digging it @ rustic & refined






  1. Nellie says:

    What a lovely collection this is, and loved all your pretty vignettes.
    I love anything that is white but particularly dishes……….
    Thanks for sharing this with us,

  2. Pat says:

    Mary Jo,
    I adore your collection of Enamelware , dear one!
    I have pieces that are similar to the one you sued as a planter!
    My beloved, Mother~in`law left my husband and I her with with red rimmed enamelware.
    “Mr. Ed” and I now display this in our Laundry Room!
    I’ve purchased several vintage pieces with the black trim for “Mr. Ed” to use with a potting bench.
    However, I have my doubts that the bench will ever get made! Ha!
    Thank you for sharing your collection!

  3. Jann Olson says:

    Mary Jo, I love enamelware as well. I have a collection of old, but like you; love new also. The tray is great and I love the piece with the bee motif and that super cute Americana plate! I have a large enamel coffee pot sitting in my entry filled with daisies. Yup, summer lovin! 🙂 Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  4. hi pat. i love the vintage pieces and hope to add more in the future. i love the old basins used in potting benches & hope you get yours done soon. ;). xo- mj

  5. hi jann- oooh! i bet that enamel coffee pot with daisies is adorable. i’ll have to search thru ur blog to see if you have a picture. thanks for stopping by. xo- mj

  6. I can never pass up enamelware. It sells well in my booth if I can manage to let it go. You have a very wonderful collection. The vintage basin with succulents.

  7. thanks sharon. i don’t know what it is about enamelware but it gets me every time. the vintage pieces are my favorite and all this post made me realize is i need more of the older pieces. lol. thanks for stopping by. xo- mj

  8. I just bought myself an oval, white enamelware tray the other day! Great minds think alike! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!xo Kathleen

  9. Beautiful collection! I love enamelware, too. Old, new, love it all. I still regret a fine, unusual, antique piece I sold over 10 years ago. The money was nice, but it’s gone. Now, the piece is forever gone from me, too.

  10. Sherry says:

    You have some nice pieces! Thank you for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  11. oh i’m so sorry wanda! i have a couple of items i sold back in my consigning days that i still pine over too. things happen for a reason though. hope you have a great day & thanks for stopping by. xo- mj

  12. thanks sherry! c ya tomorrow! xo- mj

  13. Sandra Garth says:

    This is quite the collection! I remember visiting my husband’s aunt years ago and she had some beautiful well worn pieces. Thanks for joining us again at Celebrate Your Story. Have a fun weekend!

  14. What a wonderful collection of enamelware, the ole dishpan with succulents is great!
    Thank you for sharing last week on #OMHGFF, hope you will stop by again to share your latest!
    Have a wonderful “Safe” weekend!

  15. Hi Mary Jo,
    It’s very nice to make your acquaintance – via your enamelware feature on Cindy’s blog. I am a collector too, and enjoy blogging on finds my sisters and I pick for our antique booth spaces (and for my personal collections!). I look forward to reading more of your posts, and getting to know you a little better in the days to come. 🙂
    Rita C at Panoply

  16. thanks for stopping by sandra. i love the patina on the older pieces. i hope to add more to my collection when i find them at the right price. ; ). xo- mj

  17. hi karren. i love the succulents in the old basin as well. it has really filled out since these photos were taken so i’ll have to post some updated pics. real soon. thanks for hosting every week and i’ll see you there. xo- mj

  18. welcome rita! i’m so glad you stopped by & left a comment. i love your blog and i look forward to sharing ideas, stories and finds in the future! have a great week. xo- mj

  19. thanks for your sweet comments nellie. yes, i agree white is so easy to work with. have a wonderful week! xo- mj

  20. your going to find so many uses for your new tray. it’s so versatile! enjoy it sweet friend. xo- mj

  21. Lori says:

    So pretty! I love your collection! Thanks for sharing this on DI & DI! We love having you!

  22. thanks lori! xo- mj

  23. JaneEllen says:

    Oooh I love your pieces, it’s amazing how much of it is still being used of the old and newly made pieces.Won’t part with anymore of my enamel ware, sold few pieces when we first bought our house here in western CO cause needed some cash, was hard letting go of it. Sometimes I go to get a piece and remember sold it, aaarrrggghhh.
    I too love my enamel ware, have new pieces but also some great old pieces found in MT and KY. Used to used bigger pan and good sized like coffee pot for getting water when we camped to heat water for bathing and cooking. Used them faithfully when we were waiting for our new mfg. home to come in MT.
    Lived in travel trailer for about 4-5 mnths waiting for house from Dec.-April, house was late. Had to haul water in for anything needed. Luckily our trailer was parked right next to frost free faucet.
    In MT if you need water outside you need frost free faucets. I was alone most of time as hubs on the road so hauling any water was up to me. Felt little like pioneer woman, lol.
    You have a great collection, hold on to yours as I sure will mine and hopefully can keep adding to our collections.Have great week

  24. Hi Jane Ellen. Thanks so much for stopping by. Loved all your stories and yes enamelware is just as practical as pretty. I’m holding on to my pieces & hopefully adding on. Hope to hear from you again real soon. xo- mj

I love hearing from you!