If you mishandle a ceramic plate or a water glass, it’ll chip or crack. In which case, it is likely rendered less useful and reliable. There are no easy fixes for either material. Sure, you can glue a plate or vessel back together, and you can sand down a rough spot on the edge of a glass, but as a consequence, its original function is somehow downgraded. (Although if you’ve ever seen a pottery vessel stitched together as a result of a break, you’ll certainly appreciate its beauty.) Believe it or not, I am not much of a collector. At least not intentionally. And these days I definitely think twice before adding anything to our lives. But, I looked around me the other day and realized that I have many many pieces of enameled metal: containers and plates and vases and trays, all of which get used almost daily. The large oval platters pictured here are, I confess, a recent purchase from Bought & Sold (the rustic branch of Lee Hartwell Antiques), one of my favorite shops in Callicoon. My personal feeling is that enamelware only gets better with time. The scratches, the dents, even the wearing away of the enamel all add character, but never really end up compromising its use. Unless we are talking about a cooking pot, which I’ve heard isn’t wise to use after the coating wears away. And certainly the most abused pieces can end up with holes. But a soldered patch can bring those items back to life. Here and here are some other pieces I’ve posted about before. The cup is a daily reminder to live simply.