Monday, August 11, 2014

Dedham Pottery - A Made in America Tradition

We at Best of New England are dedicated to bringing you top of the line American Made Products. This week's featured product is our Dedham Pottery Collection. This story will feature our entire Pinterest Board dedicated to the line.

The Dedham Tradition

        Hugh Robertson, a fifth generation potter, opened The Dedham Pottery Company in 1896 in Dedham, Massachusetts during the American Arts And Crafts movement. The company was a working pottery until 1943. During that span of time , the pottery's artisans created more than fifty designs for their dinnerware and serving pieces. The most popular design was the endearing little bunny now known as "the Dedham Rabbit". The rabbit became the identifying signature of The Dedham Pottery and remains so today. Through the years, the Dedham rabbit has won an international following. Pieces of the original Dedham Pottery are highly prized by collectors, from individuals to prestigious institutions such as the Museum Of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts and The Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

           Preserving A Priceless American Heritage

     In 1973, Chotsie Starr, who was already enjoying her ceramics hobby, decided to supplement her collection of original Dedham Pottery with self-made reproductions. Chotsie's originality and craftsmanship, to her pleasant surprise, won acclaim from all who saw it. She soon found herself preoccupied with filling orders from family and friends who had seen her work and wanted pieces for their own use and enjoyment.
     The more Chotsie's work was seen, the more her reputation for fine craftsmanship grew. In 1975, Chotsie agreed to sell her reproductions through two local retail shops. That initiative confirmed her inner suspicion that the appeal of the Dedham Pottery patterns was not only timeless, it was also broad-based.
     By 1977, Chotsie sensed that she was onto something bigger than her cellar-based hobby could sustain. So, with her sons Chris and Rob and several local artisans, Chotsie founded The Potting Shed, Inc.
     Since starting her adventure over 34 years ago, Chotsie has seen her hobby transformed, first into a fledgling company and, eventually, into a viable, nationally distributed and internationally respected enterprise. The customer base which started with family and friends visiting her cellar-based pottery has grown to thousands of people worldwide! The pottery, itself, quickly outgrew the cellar location and was relocated to a roomy old New England factory building in Concord, Massachusetts. The product line has grown from a relatively small selection of pieces to over three hundred items ranging from decoratively functional to functionally decorative. And, true to Chotsie's original intent, each item is still produced with painstaking craftsmanship to ensure a faithfullness to the original Dedham Pottery and to produce products that will provide lasting value and enjoyment to the customer. Each year, new pieces and new patterns are introduced to respond to customers' interests and to entice their imagination.
     Chotsie now spends much of her time at her home in Concord. She occasionally visits the pottery but reserves most of her energies for reading, gardening and relaxing. Her son, Rob Starr, and a small group of gifted artisans dedicate their daily efforts to insuring that Chotsie's endeavor to reinvigorate the Dedham Pottery tradition flourishes!

Stretch the Bunny -  Dedham Pottery - Made in America

Salt & Pepper - Made in America

Thumper - Dedham Pottery - Made in America

Nurturing Bunnies - Dedham Pottery - Made in America

Buffy & Muffy - Dedham Pottery - Made in America
Gloria the Bunny - Dedham Pottery - Made in America

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

5 Best Christmas Gifts for Dad

After all the buzz and excitement we saw from our 10 Best Christmas Gifts for Mom list, we decided to do another one for Dad! And for the record - They have enough Ties!

1. Man Cave Candles

Don't think your Dad wants a candle for Christmas? Think again! You can read all about our Man Cave Candle Collection - or fondly referred to as 'Man Candles' - in the Blog Post. These great scents for men can turn any room into a hunting lodge, Tree Stand, or drinking hall! Don't worry, you'll love the scent too because these candles are all natural and green and are not overpowering like some other candles. These Man Cave Candles were not only chosen as number 1 on our Best Christmas Gifts for Dad list due to their scent - but also their quality and environmentally friendly production! Not to mention that these candles are American Made!

2. Large Bear Trophy Mount

Shash - The Large Bear Trophy Mount
Side View of the Large Bear Trophy Mount
Large Life-like Teeth

Have the look without the guilt!!

You would never know that Shash is not the real thing!! Meticulously made by hand in Maine with the finest of details. Check out the teeth!!!! But don't get too close!! The bear stands out from the wall 15" and measures about the same from shoulder base to top of his head.
Large Bears have deep 1 1/6" luxury fur fabric. These bears are posed with an open mouth. And like all of our products, Shash is Made in the USA! Shash comes in at number 2 on our 'What to get Dad for Christmas' List because of the quality hand crafting and the lifelike look and feel! 

3. Quoddy Men's Shoes

Quoddy Mens Boat Moc
Quoddy Men's Grizzly Chukka Boot

Quoddy Men's Blucher

How do you improve on a classic?  Stay true to your heritage.  Quoddy boat shoes have always had moccasin construction, but when we attached a flat sole it became a bit of an anchor.  This shoe features a Vibram rubber sole handsewn to the upper over a layer of cushioning for that classic moccasin profile and feel, but with all the advantages of Vibram grip and durability.  As always, the perimeter collar lace is fully functional so you can snug up the heel for a custom fit.  Sleek and sturdy as a Hinckley yacht, this example of Maine craftsmanship is the most beautiful and versatile boat shoe you will find. Why did this make it to number 3 on our 5 Best things to buy for Dad this Christmas? Simple, this quality boat moc is the best of the best the handsewn sturdy construction cannot be beat - and neither can our prices!

4. Vintage and Nostalgic Signs

Vintage Beer Sign
I'd Rather Be Golfing Sign
Custom Moose Sign
No man-cave is complete without one of our Nostalgic or Vintage custom Signs! These signs made it to our 5 Gifts for Dad for Christmas 2012 because they are a Man Cave Staple! These signs are also American Made just like everything on our site!

5. NASCAR Cribbage Boards

Daytona NASCAR Cribbage Board
Talladega NASCAR Cribbage Board
Bristol Motor Speedway Cribbage Board
NASCAR Darlington Raceway Cribbage Board
NASCAR North Carolina Speedway
Each cribbage board represents different tracks with detailed and informative graphics. The track artwork is covered with a 1/16” clear plastic laminate that will keep your cribbage board looking fabulous for years. The baseboard is made of nine-ply Birch, which is very firm and prevents warping. The bottom of the board is also plastic laminated to give an all around quality feel and finish. Underneath there is a slide compartment that holds nine cribbage pegs in three different colors. The Cribbage “track” has three lanes for single play, three hand and "racing" teams. There is also a “pit area” for keeping count of “laps” or game wins.

NASCAR Cribbage boards made their way to our Top 5 Gifts for Dad because it is the best gift whether he's a cribbage fan or a NASCAR fan, this will put a smile on his face!

10 Best Gifts For Mom this Christmas

Sometimes mothers can be hard to shop for. All they really want for Christmas is your love, they'll tell you. It can be frustrating when someone won't tell you what they want for Christmas, isn't it? Well fear not, we're here to help! Because Best of New England loves Moms, and we know you do too!

  1. Lestage Convertible Mothers' Clasps

Lestage Mother Clasps
This very special mother-oriented Lestage Convertible Clasp collection is perfect for any mom (or mom to be!) I highly recommend these for anyone looking to make their mother feel really special this Christmas! Why does this make Number 1 on our 10 Best Gifts for Mom this Christmas? We have hundreds of Lestage Convertible Clasps to pick from! Including Birth Stones.

2. Cape Cod Colors Seaglass Necklaces

Cape Cod Colors Seaglass Necklaces
These beautiful seaglass icon pendants are the perfect anytime necklace, and a perfect gift! You have your choice of color: Colbalt Blue, (dark)  Royal Blue, Spring Green, Black, White/Clear, Aqua, Light Aqua, Bottle Green, Pink, and Periwinkle Purple. Also, you have your choice of icon that you would like on your pendant!
Choose from our mermaid, scallop shell, sanddollar, starfish, seahorse, cross, and fish bone. Our pendants come on an 18" silver-tone  chain. Made on Cape Cod.
This brand new jewelry item has found it's way to our website and into our hearts, and is definitely deserving of it's number 2 spot on our 10 best gifts for Mom for Christmas 2012

3. Quoddy Ring Boots

Quoddy Ring Boots
Ring Boot with Chromepak Sole A statement moccasin if there every was one, from the sturdy Chromepak leathers to the rugged handsewn upper to the cinch strap closure that passes through alloy rings. These are lined with glove leather for extra comfort. The handsewn American Made shoes are great for any person on your list - especially Mom! Quoddy Ring Boots made it to number 3 on our 10 best gifts for mom list because of it's extremely high quality

4. Farnum Nantucket Handbags

Farnum Nantucket Handbag
The Farnum Handbag is a truly authentic replica of the original Lightship basket, more popularly known as a "Nantucket Basket." The founder, Albert Farnum Cleaveland, ran this family-owned business from Florida well into his 80's. When he recently passed on, his three sons proudly stepped in to carry on their father's legacy.
Now entering our 30th year of production, they continue to sell the highest quality handbag, at an affordable price. Plus, a wide assortment of scrimshaw designs depicting classic nautical and wildlife scenes.

5 different handbags, with handle or leather shoulder strap (50") and over 65 different scrimshaw designs for the top and inside of the baskets. The baskets are imported to the manufacturer's specifications, the scrimshaw and final assembly is done in Rhode Island. Each basket includes a matching key chain and a penny with the year it was born.

Every woman that has ever seen these bags has fallen in love with them! This is why they are at number 4 on our 10 best things to buy Mom for Christmas

5. Victor Mill Bedding

Victor Mill Bedding
What better gift for a mother than to deck out her entire bedroom with bedding and curtains that she will love? You can fit an entire bedroom with our Victor Mill Bedding, at the best price on the web. 
Victor Mill offers collections ranging from traditional, contemporary, tropical and many other designs which allow us to meet diverse needs of today’s bedding customers. Through the use of stylish color combinations, elegant, high quality fabrics, opulent trimmings and stylish textures, Victor Mill offers one of the best designer bedding collections in the market. Victor Mill comes in at number 5 on our 10 Best Mom Gifts this Christmas because it's the Complete Package! You can get these beautiful bedspreads, coverlets, pillows and drapes from us for a low price.

6. Victorian Lamps

Diana Victorian Lamp

Crackle Tamoshanta Victorian Lamp
Crackle Lamp With Roses

All of our Victorian Lamps are handcrafted here in the United States. These Victorian candle or electric lamps are great vintage-style pieces for any den, living room, or bedroom. This would be a great gift for Mom! Victorian Lamps come in at number 6 on our 10 Best gifts for Mom list because they are a classic! These beautiful Victorian Lamps will compliment any home decor!

7. Thorndike Mills Braided Rugs - On Sale Now

Thorndike Mills Braided Rugs
Minuteman and Beacon Hill are the finest braided rugs made. Your Mother will love this braided rug for a lifetime. Thorndike Mills has even been featured on Chronicle! Check out My Blog Post for more information on these beautiful rugs. And go to Best Of New England to find the best prices on the net - braided rugs are now 22% off!

Our Thorndike Mills Braided Rugs come in at number 7 on our 10 Best gifts for mom list because they are the highest quality Braided Rugs available for purchase - along with our new low low prices! These American Made pieces are a must buy for every home!

8. Lestage Cape Cod Jewelry

Best of New England not only carries the Convertible Bracelets and Clasps, We also carry The Cape Cod Bracelet in silver and 14kt
This is it! The timeless, classic Cape Cod bracelet made in Masachusetts by LeStage. Beautifully hand finished to a glorious luster and presented in the perfect jewelry box. We suggest measuring the wrist and going up half an inch. Available in sizes 5.5 (child size) to size 8. The gift that is just right for Mom! Cape Cod Bracelets come in at number 8 on our Best Christmas Gifts for Mom list because they have been a popular jewelry item for years! This is the timeless Classic Cape Cod Bracelet from Lestage - and we have the best prices on the net!

9. Mountain Weaver Homespun Tablecoverings

Mountain Weaver Homespun Tablecoverings
Mountain Weaver's classic tablecoverings in our traditional "homespun" pattern have a simple beauty. Loomed with the finest USA grown cotton & made in Vermont for nearly 40 years.
SAVE 10% on Tablecovering orders over $200.00 coupon code MW10. Learn more about our tablecoverings in The Blog Post

Our Homespun Tablecloths come in at number 9 on our 10 Best gifts for mom list because they are a beautiful American-made product that everyone can appreciate and use!

10. Holiday Lawn Flamingos

Santamingo and his Reindeermingos
We have all sorts of Holiday Mingos! Get Mom a holiday flamingo for every occasion! Buy them here or read all about 'Flocking Your Neighbors' in My Blog Post

Last but not least at number 10 of our Best gifts for mom list are our Holiday Lawn Flamingos. The reason they made our list is because they can be a great Surprise Gift! Imagine your mother's face when she sees she has a flock of flamingos on her lawn Christmas Morning!

Well, this concludes our 10 Best gifts for mom list! Thank you so much and have a Merry Christmas - and give our best, and yours, to Mom!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Expressions Collection Convertible Clasps

In addition to our previous post about Lestage  Convertible Clasps, We would like to introduce to your a new line we have just brought on - the Expression Collection Convertible clasps!

These clasps are interchangeable with the Lestages clasps! The introduction of this line means you have even MORE options to choose from with your Convertible Bracelet! Feel free to mix and match these American Made clasps with your American Made Lestage clasps!

Another Truly Unique part about the Expressions Collection is the Birthstones selection provided, which more bluntly showcases that ever sentimental birthstone!

We have so many different Clasps you could wear a different combination Every Day Of The Year!

Dedham Pottery Christmas Mouse

Hello, I would like you to meet a very close friend of mine. His name is puck - He likes ice-skating and good cheese, and not much of a fan of cats. He's our 2012 Dedham Pottery Christmas Mouse! You can buy Puck now from Best of New England in time for the Holidays!
In fact, Puck has lots of friends:

like Roddy
And their other Christmas friends:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mountain Weavers Homespun Tablecoverings

Another great item Made In America - Mountain Weavers tablecloths. I have always stood by the sentiment - why would you put your food on something if you didn't know where it came from? These Tablecloths were made in America. They are loomed with the finest USA grown cotton & made in Vermont for nearly 40 years.

From the Manufacturer: For nearly four decades, we have proudly made classic tablecoverings in our traditional "homespun" pattern.  Each has a simple beauty which stems from its heritage -- the Appalachian Mountain homes of early America.  Loomed with the finest USA grown cotton, and made in the mountains of Vermont, all sizes are available in 24 contemporary, yet classic, color combinations to suit every decor and occasion.

  • 100% Cotton
  • Long lasting colors
  • Completely reversible for double wear
  • All pieces hand fringed
  • Never needs ironing
  • Machine washable, line dry
Mountain Weavers Homespun Tablecoverings
After purchasing an American Made Tablecloth, I'm convinced that you'll question why you ever bothered with imports before! The quality of this item cannot be matched!

Tip: Use coupon code MW10 at Best of New England to save 10% on orders over $200