Folk Art

Make-Do Cream Pitcher with Wood Top from Thayer Collection
  • I've always loved the early make-do repaired pieces because show us how precious things were to our ancestors. Although a make-do is a utilitarian object that has had repairs to make it serviceable or turn it into something else they fall into both the categories of Folk Art and Decorative Arts. I find that so many of them are great folk art because they really show the creative ability of non-artists who make the most of an accidental break.

    We are always accused of being a throw-away society (and I agree with that accusation) but the ultimate in green living is to waste not, want not. When something broke, our ancestors fixed it or repurposed it into something usable. “Waste Not Want Not” is the philosophy behind make-do objects and also the name of the only book I’ve found about Make-Do. The book is by Donald P. Naetzker. It is out of print but sometimes found on used book sites. When I can find a decent copy at a good price, I offer it for sale.

    This is another make-do from the collection of the late Robert Thayer. This sweet creamware pitcher has a make-do wood top that has machine made square nail (post 1880) finial. The cream body has pink English roses and green tiny leaves, pink border around edge, inside edge and has a pink and copper luster border. Very edge had copper luster but much worn away. I’m not sure this originally had top since the inside edge is decorative, but apparently an owner needed a top (keep bugs out?). Pretty good condition but for darkening inside handle and noted wear to luster. A little crazing. Collection of late Robert Thayer.

    #6689    $295

    Reference: Naetzker, Donald P., Waste Not, Want Not: The Art of the Make-Do, 1986.