Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

July 11, 2012

Treasure Hunting Report: a Krenit & a Shmoo or Two

Thanks to Dana, from Mid2Mod, I know a wee bit about Krenits and Shmoos.

Krenit bowls were designed in 1953 by Herbert Krenchel, as pieces that would be durable but beautiful.  A result of Krenchel's knowledge as a materials researcher and civil engineer, the bowls were manufactured with an enamel interior.  They were available in eight colors and nine sizes, and between 1953 and 1966 (when the line was discontinued) over a million bowls were sold.  They have since been reissued in melamineDana explains why the bowl was called "Krenit".

I spotted my vintage Krenit bowl standing in the line to pay at a church rummage sale.  I handed Hubby my loot (he's so handy) and darted from line with such fervor that everyone in the line watched me with fascination.  I snagged the bowl from under a teetering pile of other bowls and skipped back into line, where I plonked down my $2.00 (TWO BUCKS!) for this amazing piece.  A super size, this enamel bowl was made for me:  Black & white to match the kitchen and our houndstooth upholstery? Check.  Wait - matte black, to complement my matte black DIY chalkboard knife block?  Yes indeed-y.  Big enough to hold a Costco-sized fruit haul?  Check.  Inexpensive enough for Hubby not to swoon?  Check. 

Functional, beautiful and mid-century mod.  I couldn't be happier. 





My two shmoos were spotted in Thunder Bay, while we set up shop.  Unsurprisingly, they stayed there, on my Mom's bookshelf.  No worries.  These salt & pepper shakers fit nicely into a purse so they can come home to Ottawa after any visit to my hometown. Cue evil laugh.


The "Shmoo" salt and pepper shakers were designed by the late Eva Zeisel, an immensely talented ceramicist and furniture designer, who was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1906. 

Eva Zeisel; Photo Via Imprint

Zeisel wanted to make every day goods beautiful, and designed this anthropomorphized pair for Red Wing Pottery as part of the Town and Country line.  Because they resembled Al Capp's creature the Shmoo in his comic strip Li'l Abner, Zeisel's creation came to be dubbed "Shmoos".  Dana has the full story (and some fabulous images of the strip, too).



A whole shmoo village would be cute:

Photo Via Imprint

Red Wing Town & Country; Photo Via Mid2Mod
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13 comments

  1. Such great finds! You and your mom are fabulous (and fabulously lucky) thrifters. Thanks for the mid2mod mention. I love the love. :)

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    1. Thanks for the education!

      I think we have some luck because we are regular thrifters, plus I go to yard sales and rummage sales every Sat. We are dedicated. And, posts like yours certainly help me to broaden my scope and spot a good find.

      I'm super jealous of OTHER people's finds. All the time. I think the grass is always greener . . .

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  2. These are such great finds! You always manage to find such interesting things at thrift shops...so jealous! ARGH!
    Love the bowl though, such a statement piece in the kitchen with all the fruits!

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    1. Thanks!

      I won't even try to play it cool - I am in love with bowl. Every day that Hubs and I have breakfast there he asks, "are you listening to me, or staring at the bowl?"

      Always the latter.

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  3. Crazy that you posted about Mid2Mod today. We love that shop (and blog)! Insanely nice people. Sidenote I love your dining table and chairs! Great job rummaging!

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    1. Thanks!

      Hubby & I met Dana and her family when we went to Texas last year. She is such an amazing person, with a fabulous daughter and SIL and two of the most adorable little grandkids ever! Insanely nice is such a good way to describe them!

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  4. What a fun find!! I am head over heels for your dining set...Just gorgeous!!

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    1. Thanks! I did a bit of mix and match: the chairs actually match the table in the dining room, while the table was an oddball. All are from the online classifieds.

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  5. Great post full of new information for me. Thanks for sharing.
    Danielle http://awonderfullifeinfullframe.blogspot.ca/

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    1. Happy you enjoyed! I love reading what other thrifty goodies people find, so I always like to hear people enjoy my "treasure hunting reports". I try to share a bit of info, too, so people can look for new find finds if they are yard saling or thrifting.

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  6. Awesome finds. I laughed at the names though, I call my son "schmoo mac goo"!

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    1. Awww, so cute! My Mom and I have been calling each other shmoos, too, since finding this pair (which is supposed to look mom+baby-ish).

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