Graniteware or enamelware is a great thing to start collecting. It is both functional and decorative and much of it is easily found at affordable prices. Vintage granite ware and enamelware make great displays in any kitchen, whether it's colorful utensils hung from racks or berry buckets, mixing bowls and stock pots lining the shelves.
In a previous post we talked about collecting tea cups and today we'll talk about enamelware and graniteware. Let's figure out what the difference is between the two, why two terms for what seem to be the same thing? When we asked a shop owner this question several years ago he said that solid color pieces were enamelware and those colorful patterned pieces, like the blue and white swirl for example, were graniteware. Sounds logical doesn't it? Since then we have learned that there really is no difference. The simple fact is that enamelware and graniteware are both made by fusing enamel to metal to help prevent the deterioration of said metal. We will no longer stress about whether to call pieces graniteware or enamelware, though we do admit that graniteware does seem to be used to describe most of the gray colored pieces we see online.
We do not collect graniteware but we do collect other people's things (go figure)! We cleaned out a farm house years ago and acquired a large amount of graniteware. Lids, berry buckets, kettles, pans and some things we that we didn't know what they were (like the insert above). Most of it has been sold and we believe they are vintage. Some we use, like the huge pans that are under the large potted plants, the white berry bucket with red trim and wood handle is used to hold cooking utensils, and the heavy blue cast iron kettles, one of which is about 24 inches in diameter that we just don't know what to do with since they would be heavy to ship. If you're buying for decorative purposes you a may not care if the piece is old or new, only that it's colorful. We pick up pieces here and there, like the red dipper set and some red and white swirl bowls that were just plain pretty. Vintage pieces tend to be heavier and show signs of use like chips in the enamel.
Please comment and tell us what graniteware pieces you are searching for or your view on the difference between graniteware and enamelware. Do you collect all shapes, sizes and colors or one specific item like coffee pots?