When I shared the ironstone mold I purchased at the flea market over Mother’s Day weekend, I received a few questions about ironstone molds, so I thought I would share more about them. My collection started a few years ago with, of course, my love for anything ironstone. That love even led me into buying an ironstone spitoon, which I wouldn’t do again because #1 what do you use that for and #2…ick. Anyway, I came across an ironstone mold and at first debated buying it. It had a beautiful design on the inside, but it looked a little clumsy and plain on the outside. And what would I do with it? Pitchers and bowls and plates and the like can all be used for something (even if they are mostly used for display.)
The one I was debating, though, was a good size to plop a plant in or to use as a bowl. It was also inexpensive…maybe about $15, so I bought it. That started a collection that has evolved over the years. I’ve bought and sold many, only keeping my favorites.
Most of the ironstone molds I own and have bought are English, German, or French.
Some of my molds are marked, but I do have several that are not.
These molds (or moulds) gained popularity during the Victorian era and were used for puddings and jellies. (Not spreadable jelly, but like a precursor to jello.) Food was all about the presentation!
I’ve thought for a while that I should dig up a Victorian Jelly recipe and try to make one in one of these molds. That would be pretty fun to do.
My favorite mold is this one with the rabbit form in it…
If I make a jelly in any mold, it should be in the rabbit one! Maybe next Easter I’ll give it a try.
The downside to these molds is they are tricky to display. I have yet found a way to hang them (plus some of them would stick out from the wall 6-8″). I use some of them to hold plants. I’ll keep the plant in a plastic pot and put it in a plastic bag, so it doesn’t leak into the mold. You can see the black lining of the plastic pot and a peek of the bag in the potted plant on my desk…
I stuffed some moss around the edges to hide that.
Most of them, though, are stacked in the hutch in the living room. I am considering designing and building a rack to display the ones that aren’t too deep. They are all different sizes and shapes, so I can’t yet imagine how that would look.
For now, I just enjoy having them stacked in the cabinet and I’ll pull one or two out to use for various things. I know one-day inspiration will strike!
If you’re interested in adding molds to your ironstone collection (or starting one), I combed Etsy and found a bunch of ironstone molds for $40 or less…