My grandmother Dottie has always been a huge source of inspiration in my life. On weekend mornings, my brothers and I often would often go to her house where we were always treated with her own special breakfast—cinnamon raisin French toast, apple sausage links and (my favorite!) homemade chocolate milk. The table, I remember, would be covered in a pale yellow gingham tablecloth and set with Fire King milk glass plates, juice glasses etched with grapes and beautiful red Bakelite handled flatware. The vivid colors of my grandmother’s table, and the memories of sharing meals at her house, have sparked a fondness for Bakelite that still inspire me today.


Originally produced in the 1920s, Bakelite was the first heat-resistant plastic made of synthetic materials. And while my grandmother has since given me her set of red Bakelite forks, knives and spoons, which I adore, nowadays my collection tends towards a more neutral palette. I especially love all the browns, yellows,
crimsons, and burnt umber hues. These
variations suit my color palette and are much easier to mix and match. The browns and burnt oranges in particular remind me so much of fall. For a dinner party this time of year, I like to use more than one color Bakelite at a table setting to mimic the tones of freshly fallen leaves. What color palettes from nature
inspire you?