Have you ever wondered what motivates a Pyrex collector? I’ve thought about this a lot and I think we fall into several main categories. There is the nostalgic collector who likes to collect because the pieces remind them of their childhood or other happy times. Then there are those for whom the collecting part is key, they enjoy having all of something and that is more important to them than the item collected (hard as that may be to believe as you look at your latest, gorgeous acquisition). Others simply find that the lovely clean lines and cheerful patterns make their dishes an essential part of the design of their kitchen. Last but not least comes the vintage lover, who values them for their age and history. Goodness knows I love a bit of vintage myself but one of my pet hates is the vintage collector who subscribes to the belief that “oldies” must be “golden” simply by virtue of their age. This is clearly a travesty and anyone who possesses a coloured balloon brandy glass with a Siamese cat clinging perilously to its lip or a doll with a crochet crinoline used to “disguise” a toilet roll should hang their heads in shame – you can label them as ironic until the cows come home, these things could be a thousand years old and they would still constitute a gross offence against good taste. It’s those sort of things which give kitsch a bad name. Fortunately if a vintage collector has the good taste to include Pyrex in their collection they rarely make such errors of judgment as to give items such as the aforementioned felines or bathroom fripperies house room.
I suspect that most of us are motivated by a mixture of these reasons, although I myself am not yet old enough to be nostalgic about anything! People’s reactions to the news that you are a Pyrex collector can vary wildly from “that’s an old people’s thing” (you have to watch people who say this as they are always the ones who you find trying to surreptitiously “liberate” part of your collection after they have seen it, or bidding fiercely against you on eBay on that shamrock chip’n’dip set you’ve got your eye on), to “is that a thing now” (this is always delivered in an irritated tone, as if you’ve decided to collect it merely to annoy them) or, my personal favourite “what’s Pyrex?”!
Personally there is another element to my decision to collect and (I realise this might be seen as somewhat sacrilegious by some of my fellow collectors) that is that I quite like using vintage Pyrex – yes dear reader, on occasion I actually cook with it and put them in the oven! It has to be said that the design and quality of these vintage items has never been bettered and the fact they look so good while in use is a bonus. I also find them quite a cheery antidote to the woes of modern living, after all its impossible to be depressed when you’re making a cake in a yellow bowl so bright you need shades on just to think about getting it out of the cupboard.