Both Elegant and Kitschy

My favourite salt and pepper shaker set that transforms the surface it sits on from a hard surface to one that implies the surface’s permeability is this one: It consists of just those two quite elegant and curvy triangular shapes–each on their own an interestingly abstract sculpture, perhaps. ┬áBut somehow, together, their representational intent becomesContinue reading “Both Elegant and Kitschy”

Ambiguously Gendered: Batting for Which Team?

This shaker set is not necessarily ambiguously gay–more like ambiguously gendered. Its two baseball players (who each look a little like stereotyped angry codgers wearing too much eyeliner), might be either both male or both female or a combination of one male and one female. The shaker on the left wears a pink hat, whichContinue reading “Ambiguously Gendered: Batting for Which Team?”

Food, Fictional and Non-Fictional

Thinking as I wrote my last post about how disturbing it was to look at versions of the exact same characters in different poses in two different salt and pepper shaker sets, about how the impression that they could move and take different positions seemed to suggest a life they were leading outside and beyondContinue reading “Food, Fictional and Non-Fictional”

More on the Tyranny of Pairs

I’ve been thinking further about the tyranny of pairs in the world of shaker sets, which I discussed in my last post. It has occurred to me now that it’s the implied connection of the two disparate things in a pair that is, often, the source of the comedy or even the cuteness. A dogContinue reading “More on the Tyranny of Pairs”

Go-Withs

A lot of the sets of shakers in my collection are what the world of salt-and-pepper-set collectors, apparently, call “go-withs”–the ones I like to call binary opposites: the shakers depict two quite different objects that have some logical or linguistic collection to each other, like the common opposites of black and white or good andContinue reading “Go-Withs”