Hello. We like to collect well-designed vintage pottery (and lots of other stuff) from the 1950s,
'60s and '70s. Here are some pictures and info of a selection of the things we've found.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Portmeirion storage jars. Simplicity is the key.

Made by Portmeirion Pottery in the late 1960s or early 1970s, these two large storage jars were designed by Susan Williams-Ellis.

The pattern is Greek Key. As regular visitors to Potshots will know, I'm a bit of a sucker for cylinder-shaped pots, like these: Cylinders on Potshots and these: more cylinders, I think I must be attracted by the simplicity of them. Another nice feature of these vintage storage jars is the way that the bands of black printed borders are confined to the very top and bottom of the jars - leaving lots of that bright coloured body showing in between. The nicely turned wooden lids fit snugly and the contrasting bright orange and lime green colours seem to work well when displayed together.


  1. I have three orange storage jars tucked away from the mid 60's. With a revolutionary new material called formica that had to be glued onto surfaces and then tailored by sanding the edges, we were able to DIY modernise our first home together making a fully fitted kitchen. Using a similar orange formica to the storage jars for the cupboards and backdrops and white formica for the counter-top we designed a fabulous small space kitchen. Even down to making a folding corner door to pull out for easy access.
    I purchased my beautiful orange Greek Key storage jars before we married. It was called collecting for your 'bottom drawer' when mum's would also contribute things like tinned foods, essential kitchen utensils, pillow cases etc. to get you started in your new home.
    My storage jars were to be the ispiration for the kitchen design. When it all came together, making a feature of the storage jars in a prominent position on the white formica counter-top and against the orange formica backdrop and cupboards it looked absolutely stunning. Such colour explosion was quite shocking but tantalisingly refreshing. You would not believe what I did with the rest of the house - but lets say it was very different and fantastically satisfying and looked brilliant.
    Nowadays my taste is much more sober with my present kitchen having high gloss cream and cappuccino. Equally as stunning but sadly cannot accommodate my lovely storage jars so unfortunately they must go as I am de-cluttering.

  2. Your 1960s kitchen in orange and white sounds wonderful. I would love to have seen it. I'm glad the image of the storage jars brought back the memory for you. And I'm glad you took the time to let us all know about the kitchen, how it was made, and how we used to save inspirational items in the 'bottom drawer' for our first homes. Here's a thought, by all means go ahead with your de-cluttering exercise - we all need to that from time to time - but why not keep just one of your orange jars on display somewhere as little reminder of those colourful and creative 1960s days. Thank you again for such a brilliant comment.