In my grandmother’s room
I only learned late
was from turpentine and linseed oil
but the flowers
she crafted on platters and bowl
I see how
she’s painted each plate to a garden
with different flowers and bugs,
each one is unique,
and I look at the years
she has scribbled on the back of the plates.
1939 — before they fled from Norway to Sweden…
1960 — before I was born my parents were married…
with years in between.
My grandmother lived with
but I wonder how many dinners been served
on her lifetime of fragrance.
Lillian asks us to walk around our house and find something on the wall to write poetry on at dVerse today
That’s an old-fashioned thing that you don’t see much now, decorative plates on the wall, although our neighbours who recently moved away, who are in their eighties, had a little collection going. Some of their plates were beautiful. How amazing that your grandmother decorated them herself! I love the smell of turpentine and linseed oil, which reminds of the past, when I used to paint. The dates on the back of the plates are very important.
We have a full set of plates 4 different sizes and bowls and platters… every one with different flowers on them… my grandmother used her whole life painting them (and other stuff)…
Wow! That’s fabulous.
What a wonderful treasure you have! I collected the blue Christmas plates for many years….we had a blue kitchen in our Iowa country house that was painted just to feature the plates! 🙂 But these…..to have them hand painted by your grandmother and to think she used them all those years. Incredibly special. Does she have her name signed as well as the dates? Very very special indeed!
Oh yes they are signed with he initials…. to serve a special dinner on them is a treat. But the set is bigger than we have table for 🙂
That is truly a treasure to have plates hand-painted by your grandmother, with such a history.
She had to leave her plates in Norway when the Germans came, and my grandfather had to go back and bring them back… Bergen was bombed as he packed down the plates.
That is real love.
That’s a lovely souvenir to have. Precious. You are very lucky.
Her life’s work in a serving set is so precious for the memories you hold dear. Your grandma must have been a very special lady.
She had a lot of talent… but was also brought up with privileges which meant that she had to do something like that…
Are you saying she had to make herself productive to keep her family happy?
Or to make herself happy… upper class women had to do something… others did embroidery
ok, got it.
Will you photograph and post them all?
There probably are hundred plates… a lot to photograph.
What about like ten or so? I’m really interested. I wish I could see them.
I’d love to see them as well! What a treasure – perhaps a video?
Beautiful! I have similar plates from a grandmother and they are such a treasure. They make a house a home.
Those are beautiful plates.
These are wonderful Bjorn your granmama was talented!
Beautiful! I love china, There is nothing more elegant than sharing dinner on real china. This is lovely.
I enjoyed this so much, Bjorn. What a lovely set of plates and memories. I remember my great grandmother’s morning set of Limoges, with different flowers on each plate. What a treasure you have. That linse and turp. smell was because people used a mixture on their muscles and joints. There was little else to use. What a lovely piece you have wrought
Actually linseed oil and turpentine is used to mix the colors used when painting on porcelain
Such treasures to have – what a story they tell. Lovely.
What a beautiful keepsake to have from your grandmother! She was a great artist.
That’s amazing – what a treasure! My great aunt was a Clarice Cliff girl – I didn’t know until I came across a picture of her in a book! – and I find that quite exciting, but your story is much better. They must have come from opposite ends of the social spectrum – your grandmother filling up her time, my great-aunt delighted to have such a well paying job! – but ended up doing the same thing. I like the evocative dates, and the connection with all those dinners of the past.
Clarence Cliff — If I hadn’t watched the Antiques roadshow I would have been clueless about that… do you have anything painted by her?
No, sadly. It would have all been commercial stuff.
Lovely memories and keepsake from your grandmother. I love how you started with her scent and drew us into the beauty she created for eyes and soul.
What a lovely legacy to have. Beautiful work!
I’m so impressed – what a treasure.
What I like best is that you actually use these beautiful plates from time to time to eat from. I’ve always loved the Japanese ideal of matching utility and beauty. And the painting itself is very fine. I think art is a calling no matter how you come to it. The story of packing the fragile plates in the midst of falling bombs is amazing. They must have held a lot of significance for your grandparents.
What a great story of family history shared within this poem. A fun read.
Beautiful tribute to your grandmother. She had a talent for plate painting, indeed.