Tuesday, September 10, 2013


My name is Paul Hecht and I am obsessed with buying cool bowls.  Yep, it's true.  I can't help myself, and I guess it's about time I admit to my problem and start talking about it.  From the moment I opened my first edition of Martha Stewart Living magazine in 1995 I was hooked on her "collections" section, where each month a different collectible item was featured.  The first month (I've since laminated the pages...please hold your sighs and/or applause) introduced me to yellow ware, an early American ceramic that became a workhorse of the kitchen and a collectible part of our past, and an affair I've now had for eighteen years.  While my relationship with yellow ware has had its ups and downs (sometimes apartment living in the city makes it a tad difficult to display large, heavy bowls) my love of them has not wavered.  In fact, I made it a point to carry my 30+ bowls across country in our rented motorhome when we moved from LA to New York, for fear the movers would break some of the hundred year old bowls.  While I can't use many of them in day to day entertaining (made with lead, cracks deem them unusable) I love displaying them as their simplistic design works in many settings.  Many years later, also thanks to Martha Stewart, I fell in love with various kinds of precious bowls and plates.  From fine china to lusterware, fireking, fiesta ware, you name it (if it's vintage) I most likely own a piece of it! I have, however, started to part with many of my flea market finds when I design homes.  Take, for example, a lovely weekend cottage purchased by a New York lawyer, charming in its 100 year old design, but deplete of any storage whatsoever.  To escape the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, each weekend this busy New Yorker jumps in her convertible and heads north to her little slice of peace and quiet.  However, she brought a larger slice of Manhattan than I'd expected, so integrating her pieces (like jewelry) became a bit of a problem.  Enter my bowls...to create a vanity in her tight master bedroom, I transformed an old desk into make-up central, adding some of my antique finds to hold her jewelry (ten bowls and plates, to be exact, in the top drawer).  Every one has a story, and if this drawer could talk it would be screaming from the rooftop.  Before you toss that old item into the donate pile, take a minute to think about repurposing it...or, heck, send it my way!