Shaker. Sculpture. Shaker Sculpture.

In my last post, after discussing the unsettling disproportion of a shaker set that contains a human figure accompanied by some relatively giant shakers (or perhaps, some normal-sized shakers accompanied by a decidedly tiny human figure, I promised to talk about another set I have that consists of the usual shaker-sized miniature human figure and aContinue reading “Shaker. Sculpture. Shaker Sculpture.”

Chubby Chef Goes Solo, and Apparently Sings Solo, Too

This not-so-svelte cook is all on his own: With a moustache similar to the gentleman in the set I discussed a couple of posts ago, he seems to be aspring to the Italian-chef stereotype: not just large-tummied and round-cheeked (and cherubically round-nosed), but with a moustache, another perky handlebar moustache.   And from the lookContinue reading “Chubby Chef Goes Solo, and Apparently Sings Solo, Too”

Chubby Chefs Cooking for Campbells

Yet another set of chubby-cheeked chefs: This wide-eyed pair works for  certain soup company, it seems.  They are sitting on their cans.  Their cute chubbiness confirms the chubby cuteness cliché. An odd thing about this set is the variant shape of the containers of condiments against which the two chefs lean.  He leans against aContinue reading “Chubby Chefs Cooking for Campbells”

Chubby Chefs

Speaking of stereotypes (as I have doing in recent posts about salt-and-pepper depictions of Asiatics): did you notice how chubby all those chefs are, in the set I talked about in my last post?  And indeed, not really very much to my surprise, other sets depicting non-Asiatic chefs are equally chubby–like this one: This timeContinue reading “Chubby Chefs”

Non-Specific Exotica

Since I’ve been looking at orientalist stereotypes, evocations of the mysterious East, this seems like a good time to take a look at this set: Not Asiatic, but still evocative of orientalism and the mysterious other.  I think these are maybe supposed to represent some kind of Africans–or Polynesians, or Indonesians or native South Americans,Continue reading “Non-Specific Exotica”

Exotic and Smashable Fragility

I’ve previously written a number of posts about the racial stereotypes represented in my salt and pepper shaker collection: lazy Mexicans, but especially adorable Native North Americans and jolly overweight African Americans. This time, it’s the turn of the Asians. This set sums up one significant branch of the Asian world as it is depictedContinue reading “Exotic and Smashable Fragility”

Big Radish Is Watching You

If, as I discussed my last post, there’s something odd and unsettling about shalt-and-pepper shakers that look like raw potatoes and that are designed to be put on tables that include cooked food like fries, then what are we to make of a pair like this: Now admittedly, these radishes (I think they are radishes–eitherContinue reading “Big Radish Is Watching You”

Once More for Old Times’ Sake, Once More

When I wrote about shaking in my last post, I realize, I was taking something important for granted:  you are allowed to give the shakers a symbolic shaking that implies violence to the person or thing a shaker represents because the shaker is, in fact, merely a representation–not actually the thing it represents, but aContinue reading “Once More for Old Times’ Sake, Once More”

Shaking

In my explorations of the scriptive actions of salt and pepper shakers over the past while, I’ve considered everything but the most obvious action they imply–the one implied by their name: shaking.  Salt and pepper shakers are made to be shaken.  Furthermore, as I think about it, I see that the act of shaking isContinue reading “Shaking”

Shit, Kitsch, and Other Things that Stink

In my last post, I suggested that one of the actions scripted by novelty salt and pepper shakers is conversing about them as artistic objects: the invitation to “observe them more closely–perhaps in something like the way we look at paintings or other art objects, with an eye to understanding both what they represent andContinue reading “Shit, Kitsch, and Other Things that Stink”