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December, 2017 |

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Clock, barometer combo named after admiral


Admiral Robert Fitzroy (1805-65) is best known to collectors for a barometer he did not invent. But historians know about his accomplishments in the Navy, politics and predicting the weather.

He joined the Navy at the age of 12, was captain of the ship that carried Charles Darwin on his expeditions, was elected to Parliament in 1841, became governor of New Zealand in 1843, and later began to study meteorology and the weather.

He published an important book about weather, made sure there was a barometer in every port, and made charts that predicted the weather for sailors as the first “weather forecaster,” a name he made up. He improved the design of barometers, but didn’t invent the one now named for him.

This “Admiral Fitzroy Clock and Barometer” made in about 1900 sold at a Cowan auction last year for $270.

Q: I’ve owned Imperial Candlewick glassware for almost 70 years! It’s been a prized possession in many locations where we made our home as foreign missionaries. It’s survived through much use by our family of five children and was used frequently for special events. Now I find it necessary to sell my collection of many pieces. What advice can you give me?

A: Collections of glassware and dinnerware are hard to sell. Candlewick glass sells online on sites like, and Shops that sell Candlewick may be interested in buying your pieces.

You also can contact the National Imperial Glass Collectors’ Society (imperial If you decide to sell your glass online or send it to an online shop, you will have to pack it up securely, insure it and send it to them. It’s easier to try to sell it locally at a consignment shop, flea market or antiques shop.

You also might consider donating it to a charity. Determine its value by checking Candlewick glass that has sold on some of the online sites, and then take the tax deduction.

Q: I found a snow leopard skin in an antique suitcase in my father’s attic today. The skin probably is about 100 years old, but is in perfect condition. What should I do with it? What is it worth? Who would want it: a museum or a Russian supermodel?

A: It’s too old for the Russian supermodel, but it could sell at an auction. Snow leopard skin rugs sold at auction for $550 to $1,100 plus buyer’s premium a couple of years ago. If the skin has dried and is cracking, it will be much less valuable.

Q: I know you should not use boiled linseed oil to polish your wooden furniture, even though that was recommended in my mother’s day. It gets hard and crystallizes, and it’s hard to remove. But what oil should I use?

A: Some experts say that you shouldn’t use any type of oil on finished wood — not even lemon, linseed, tung or oil-based polishes.

They often do nothing, because you can’t “feed” wood. But the oil can attract dust and create a sticky surface, or worse.

A finished piece of furniture should be given a light coat of paste wax about once a year. Rub the wax until there is a shine and no waxy feel. Then, just dust the surface regularly.

Q: I have an old, pretty teapot in perfect condition. It has glossy brown glaze with multicolored raised decoration — lacy lines and dots — and a raised mark on the bottom that reads “Gibsons England.” There also is a gold triangular mark with a teapot and a number I can’t make out. Do you have any information about its age or value?

A: Gibson Sudlow was founded in Stoke-on-Trent, England, by Samuel Gibson in 1875. It became Gibson Sons Ltd. in 1885 and operated in Burslem.

The company made earthenware dinner and tea ware, but is best known for beautifully crafted — and usable — teapots. They were exhibited at major exhibitions like the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. In about 1910, Gibsons made the largest teapot in the world, said to hold 1,024 cups of tea, as a promotion.

During World War II, Gibsons focused exclusively on teapots, mostly made with decorated red or white clay.

After the war, the production line was expanded to include breakfast, dinner, tea, coffee and sandwich and kitchen ware. Earthenware teapot production stopped in the mid-1960s, and the company went out of business about 1975.

Your teapot was made in about 1928 or 1929 and is decorated in the Lola pattern. Gibsons made millions of “proper British teapots.”

They sell today for an average of $25.

Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer questions sent to the column. Names, addresses or email addresses will not be published. Write to Kovels, King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.

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Economic growth, protecting most vulnerable top goals list for four locals

Across the region, community leaders and elected officials are setting business plans and getting ready for a productive 2018. And with that comes setting goals for their city, town, organization and themselves.

The past 12 months have seen new businesses open, people assuming new leadership positions and the changing of the guard in several cities and towns.

Deb Sanderson

Chris Myers Asch

Jim Owens


Republican state representative Deb Sanderson is beginning her final year serving house District 88, which includes Chelsea, Jefferson, Whitefield and part of Nobleboro. She was first elected in 2010 and successfully sought re-election three times. She said she wants to use her final year in office — she cannot run again in 2018 because of term limits — to continue fighting for the people of Maine and moving forward Gov. Paul LePage’s agenda.

The Capital Area New Mainers Project is a cross-cultural organization that welcomes immigrants and works to create a thriving, integrated, multicultural community in central Maine. Chris Myers Asch co-founded the nonprofit group in 2017 and wants to grow the organization and help more individuals and families during the next 12 months. With the continued popularity of Maine among the immigrant and refugee communities in the United States and abroad, there is opportunity for growth and the chance to really make a difference.

At the beginning of the year, the Hallowell Fire Department wasn’t sure it would even exist on Jan. 1, 2018. Fast forward 12 months and the department is thriving. It has more volunteer firefighters than it’s had in decades, its preparing to move into a new multimillion-dollar fire station and morale has never been better. Chief Jim Owens said his goals for the new year include giving his firefighters more training opportunities and to increase the department’s public service in Hallowell.

Darryl Sterling, economic development consultant for the town of Richmond, said that the town has continued to grow and he wants to find more economic development opportunities for the town on the Kennebec River between Gardiner and Topsham. He would like to see more development along the waterfront and greater business opportunities throughout the town. Sterling also has a goal of bringing a hotel to Richmond.

Here are some details of their priorities.

Deb Sanderson

Sanderson said one of her biggest goals for 2018 is to continue the work she has done with the LePage administration for the last seven years because she thinks it has been good for Maine and the state’s economy.

“I want to make sure we can hold the line against legislation that would prohibit a continuation of our growth,” Sanderson said.

Sanderson said one of the big things the legislature will have to tackle in 2018 is the legalization of recreational marijuana, which was passed by citizen referendum in November 2016 but hasn’t actually yet been legalized. She has a bill carried over from last year that would restructure the medical marijuana program, and there is more work to be done on adult-use recreational marijuana, too.

“We’re going to have to take a comprehensive look at the entire marijuana industry and make sure we can fit the pieces together in a way that they can either dwell side-by-side or operate independently but not in opposition to each other,” she said.

One of the big battles the legislation will face this year, Sanderson said, is funding for Medicaid expansion, which was passed by referendum in November with nearly 59 percent of the vote. There is the matter of funding that expansion while also funding some of the other programs throughout Maine that have yet to receive money in the current budget.

“If we didn’t have this money last year to appropriate, it’s going to be difficult to find the money this year for these programs,” Sanderson said. “There’s going to be a big debate about that, and I’m sure it’s going to be a very contentious battle.”

Her biggest goal, she said, is to make sure the people who are disabled and on waiting lists for services receiving the funding they need before any other funding gets appropriated.

“I’ve fought for these people for the last seven years,” Sanderson said. “They are truly the ones who need it the most and truly the ones we need to fund first.”

Chris Myers Asch

The Capital Area New Mainers Project was started earlier this year to provide support for immigrant and refugee families new to central Maine, and Myers Asch said the organization continues to grow and do important work each day.

“It’s been a great year, and it’s changed my life,” Myers Asch said. “We definitely want to grow, and our three key words for this year are strength, support and share.”

Myers Asch said the group wants to strengthen the connection between new Mainers and old Mainers, support city officials and schools and others who work closely with the new Mainers community and they want to share their stories with the broader community.

“They’re stories of resiliency and strength and hope, and they are really powerful stories to share,” Myers Asch said.

Myers Asch said the political climate, especially surrounding refugees and immigrants — especially after President Donald Trump attempted to ban immigration from several Muslim-majority nations — made 2017 a challenging year, but he said it’s getting better.

“We want to normalize having these folks in our community and show people that the immigrants are contributing to our city and enriching our city and bringing so much to us,” he said. “They love Maine for the same reasons we do.”

The immigrant families Myers Asch works with are very proud to live in Maine and have a lot they can add to the community. They are integrating themselves in their communities, their children are playing on soccer teams and wrestling teams and they’re so happy to be a part of the community and its culture.

Myers Asch said a big goal this year is to strengthen programs started last year and grow the programs, where appropriate, and provide family-mentor teams to families the organization is working with now.

“We want to strengthen the women’s Talk and Tea program that we started,” he said. There is no specific number of members the group needs to add, because it’s not realistic to try and set that type of boundary.

On a personal level, Myers Asch said he’d like to learn some Arabic this year, because he said it would help him as CANMP continues to work with people from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and other Middle Eastern nations.

“I think it’s important for Americans to learn about immigrants and their cultures, and language is so important,” he said. “These immigrants are bending-over-backwards trying to learn English, so I think I need to learn some Arabic as well.”

Jim Owens

The Hallowell Fire Department was set to be disbanded if the council voted to contract fire services with Augusta in the beginning of 2017. Instead, the council opted to lease space in an unbuilt fire station in Farmingdale, prompting a petition effort by a concerned citizen that forced the council to re-examine their decision. Shortly thereafter, an anonymous donor pledged $1 million to build a new fire station in Hallowell and save the department, and the rest, as Owens said, is history.

With the new station set to open on the Stevens Commons campus around April, Owens has been working with new recruits to the department and has several things he’d like to accomplish this year.

“We want to maintain (the roster) we have and increase their level of training, which is our main goal,” Owens said. He also wants to train the officers in the department on how to handle a lot of the day-to-day responsibilities, like managing the department’s budget.

“They all have a copy of the budget, and they understand the line items in the budget now,” he said. “I wanted to bring the officers up to speed in case I wasn’t there, so they’d know where we were at.”

Owens said he wants to increase training to include courses on hazardous materials, emergency vehicle driving and CPR. There are various things outside the normal scope of training Owens would like to see the department accomplish. He also wants to make sure all the new firefighters get trained up to a level where they can be useful — new firefighters aren’t typically trained to do much more than direct traffic when they join the department.

Another goal, albeit an obvious one according to Owens, is to make a successful move from the historic fire station on Second Street to the new facility at the top of Winthrop Street on the Stevens Commons campus. The concrete has been poured and the roof is up on the structure, which is scheduled to be open before the Maine Department of Transportation begins a reconstruction project on Water Street in downtown Hallowell.

Owens said the department would like to do some fundraising this year to raise additional money for the department. He said there are some items that weren’t included in the new fire station budget, including kitchenware like plates, pots and pans, cookware and other little things.

The fire station’s community room will allow the department to host spaghetti dinners and other community functions throughout the year, Owens said.

“It takes time to educate the citizens and the council about the needs of the fire department,” he said. “We can’t run it on $40,000 a year anymore.”

Darryl Sterling

Sterling has a big vision for Richmond that includes continued business economic expansion, housing opportunities and more employment options for residents and potential residents.

“We have goals that used to be overarching, but the realistic goals include to create at least 100 new jobs, and I’m excited about that,” Sterling said. “We anticipate having three or four more companies moving to Richmond in 2018.”

Sterling said his hope is to fill the last few business vacancies in the downtown and he expects the town to upgrade its community infrastructure in the support of economic growth. He said there will be a $12 million sewer plant upgrade to help with that goal.

“We’re excited about the housing projects we have percolating, and we got approval (last week) from the Select Board to put in a community ice rink, and that will happen in January,” he said. “We’re ramping up our marketing to highlight our recreational improvements and the other big changes.”

As for long-term goals, Sterling said the town would like to extend its water and sewer lines down Main Street to the Interstate 295 interchange, and the planning for that will start this year — they’d like to have the project completed by 2021.

Richmond was one of the only towns in central Maine to vote in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana, but Sterling expressed reservations about that type of business being a part of the town’s economic development.

Along the waterfront, there is a new bulkhead that was built in 2017, and the town is installing new custom floats and docks, and there is a new paved walking trail that connects the school and the town office complex.

Securing a hotel for within the Richmond town limits is also high on Sterling’s list of priorities. It is a big goal to have a hotel located in town on one of a number of properties ready to be developed.

“Put that in bold,” he said. “We can support it with tax increment financing and public-private partnerships, which is about getting the resources and pooling them together to make the investments and community improvements.”

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ





Send questions/comments to the editors.

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Copyright © 2017, Will Durst. Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former pirate at the opening of a Long John Silver’s in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For a calendar of personal appearances, including his new one- man show, “Durst Case Scenario,” every Tuesday at the San Francisco Marsh until Dec 19, please visit

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Tundra Restaurant Supply Announces the Winner of Its “Help for the …

Boulder, CO, December 31, 2017 — Tundra Restaurant Supply ( happily announces the winner of its “Help for the Holidays Mixer Giveaway with KitchenAid Commercial,” as Steve Oakleaf of Missouri. Oakleaf won a new KitchenAid Commercial Mixer.

Contestants had a little more than two weeks to complete and submit the entry form for the “Help for the Holidays Mixer Giveaway with KitchenAid Commercial” on Tundra Restaurant Supply’s Facebook page ( or on the Tundra Restaurant Supply Backburner Blog ( Participants entered by using their email address, and were awarded an additional bonus entry if they shared the contest with a friend via email, Facebook, or Twitter.

The commercial line of KitchenAid’s mixers represents their most powerful kitchen equipment. Equipped with a heavy duty 1.3HP motor that can tackle more than 8 pounds of dough with ease, this commercial mixer also comes with an 8-quart bowl capacity that’s perfect for mixing up bigger batches. Prized for its versatility, this mixer is compatible with more than 12 available attachments including a pasta kit, food grinder and more.

Oakleaf’s entry was picked from more than 20,000 entries. “My wife is going to be so happy!” says Oakleaf.

About Tundra Restaurant Supply

Tundra Restaurant Supply is the leading distributor of food service equipment, supplies and parts to innovative restaurant concepts. For over 20 years, Tundra has cultivated and nurtured lasting relationships with prominent and respected industry leaders by helping brands build long-term growth strategies. Through a powerful network of logistics, services and technology platforms—thoughtfully managed with a personal touch—Tundra is equipped to creatively tackle the challenges of today’s restaurants. Get more from your supply partner—grow and thrive with Tundra Restaurant Supply.

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It Seems Welbilt, Inc. (WBT) Will Go Up. Just Reaches All Time High


Stock News


December 31, 2017 – By Vivian Park

The stock of Welbilt, Inc. (NYSE:WBT) reached all time high today, Dec, 31 and still has $24.69 target or 5.00 % above today’s $23.51 share price. This indicates more upside for the $3.28B company. This technical setup was reported by If the $24.69 PT is reached, the company will be worth $163.90M more.
Trading stocks at an all time highs is usually a winning strategy. An all time high points to a stock which has the most positive fundamentals ever. Even thought the pullback rate is high, if correct risk management is utilized, investors can trade very well such events.

It closed at $23.51 lastly. It is down 24.62% since December 31, 2016 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 7.92% the SP500.

Analysts await Welbilt, Inc. (NYSE:WBT) to report earnings on February, 21. They expect $0.25 EPS, up 56.25 % or $0.09 from last year’s $0.16 per share. WBT’s profit will be $34.86 million for 23.51 P/E if the $0.25 EPS becomes a reality. After $0.23 actual EPS reported by Welbilt, Inc. for the previous quarter, Wall Street now forecasts 8.70 % EPS growth.

More news for Welbilt, Inc. (NYSE:WBT) were recently published by:, which released: “Machinery Stocks’ Research Reports Released on Rockwell Automation, Rexnord …” on December 29, 2017.‘s article titled: “Welbilt Establishes Digital as New Corporate Function and Appoints Chief Human …” and published on November 06, 2017 is yet another important article.

Welbilt, Inc. designs, manufactures, and services hot and cold category commercial foodservice equipment worldwide. The company has market cap of $3.28 billion. The firm offers commercial upright and undercounter refrigerators and freezers, blast freezers, blast chillers, cook-chill systems, modular and fully assembled walk-in refrigerators, coolers and freezers, and prefabricated cooler and freezer panels. It has a 36.73 P/E ratio. It also provides ranges, griddles, grills, combi ovens, convection ovens, conveyor ovens, induction cookers, broilers, tilt fry pans/kettles/skillets, braising pans, cheese melters/salamanders, cook stations, table top and countertop cooking/frying systems, fryers, steam jacketed kettles, and steamers.

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New Year Shopping Guide

In 2018, you may resolve to save more, spend less or budget better. Whatever your money goal, the one common key to your success is shopping smart. That means knowing the best time to buy just about anything.

To help you out, we’ve created a purchase calendar to help you plan your shopping for the year.


With a fresh page on the calendar comes a fresh start for sales. These products are discounted in January:

BEDDING AND LINENS. Department stores hold bedding and linen “white sales” in January with deep discounts on sheets and towels.

FITNESS EQUIPMENT. Retailers know you want to get in shape. Expect fitness equipment and apparel sales to abound at sporting goods stores.

TVS AND ELECTRONICS. Just before the Super Bowl, retailers normally discount their selections of HDTVs and other home-theater essentials.


It’s the month of love and gift-giving, but February might be a better time to buy major items for yourself than trinkets for your loved one. Options include:

TVS. TV sales spill over from January into February. Aside from Black Friday, this is one of the prime times to buy a new TV.

WINTER PRODUCTS. With winter winding down, stores will be looking to unload their inventories of cold-weather products. Look for sales on apparel and winter sporting accessories.

HOME GOODS. Presidents Day is Feb. 19 this year. Expect retailers to have home and apparel sales on that Monday and the weekend preceding the holiday.


There aren’t any major shopping holidays in March, but that doesn’t mean sales are lacking. Look for sales on these products:

GOLF CLUBS. Expect to find discounts on golf clubs in preparation for summer. Whenever consumer demand is down, prices usually are, too.

GRILLS. Buy your summer grilling necessities in March to avoid the spike in prices that will come when summer arrives.

ST. PATRICK’S DAY ESSENTIALS. St. Patrick’s Day is March 17. Around that time, online retailers and department stores usually discount their selection of green-themed clothing, party supplies and jewelry.


April has its fair share of spring deals and discounts, including:

VACUUMS. Buying a vacuum isn’t the most exciting purchase, but it’ll be less painful if you take advantage of a spring cleaning sale. Look for these at department stores as well as manufacturers like Dyson.

JEWELRY. The general rule is to avoid buying jewelry close to major holidays. Try to get a good deal when jewelers have a slower period and may be more motivated to make sales.

FREEBIES. Year after year, retailers and restaurants try to lighten the burden of tax day with discounts and freebies. Keep an eye out for these around mid-April. Tax day this year is April 17.


April showers bring May flowers — and sales blossom then, too. Here’s a look at some products to consider buying this month:

SPRING CLEANING NECESSITIES. Before summer arrives, act on spring cleaning discounts on vacuums and mops.

SMALL KITCHEN APPLIANCES. Use May discounts as a perfect opportunity to buy small kitchen appliances, such as coffee makers and blenders. These products normally are included in Memorial Day sales.

FURNITURE. Three of the biggest blowout shopping days are Black Friday, Labor Day and Memorial Day. This year, Memorial Day is May 28. Look for plenty of furniture and home-decor discounts from big-box stores.


June may be one of the shorter months of the year, but its supply of shopping events isn’t lacking. Smart purchases include these products:

LINGERIE. Stock up on undergarments in June. That’s when Victoria’s Secret has been known to host its famed Semi-Annual Sale. The sale usually occurs in December also.

GYM MEMBERSHIPS. Consider buying a gym membership during the summer, and don’t forget to negotiate to get the best possible deal. Gyms may be more eager for sign-ups at this time.

GIFTS FOR DAD. You don’t have to buy dad’s gift at full price. Expect Father’s Day deals this month, especially the closer you get to the holiday on June 17.


The temperature usually rises in July, but the prices of certain products drop. Consider buying these items this month:

APPAREL. If you don’t want to wait for end-of-summer sales, buy clothes in midsummer. You’ll likely find a better price than you would at the start of the season.

PATRIOTIC ITEMS. Retailers like a reason to celebrate. In the days leading up to the Fourth of July, there is usually an abundance of sales on red, white and blue products (and products that are all three colors), as well as on sporting goods, jewelry and furniture.

PERSONAL ELECTRONICS. Black Friday is a big deal day that falls in November, but many retailers have begun hosting Black Friday in July sales, including Best Buy and Amazon. Expect discounts in nearly every product category.


Close out summer by buying summer products? That’s right. Look for end-of-season clearance sales in August:

BACK-TO-SCHOOL SUPPLIES. The start of school marks the need to buy small items such as pencils and expensive ones like laptops. Generally, the closer to the start of the school year you buy, the better your chances of getting a good price.

LAWN MOWERS. Ride out the end of summer with a big deal on lawn mowers and other seasonal outdoor equipment.

SWIMSUITS. There may not be many swimming days left by the time August rolls around, but that’s exactly why swimsuit clearance sales will crest. Buy your swimsuits now to stock up for next year.


With deals on items as varied as electronics and back-to-school supplies, September is a surprising month for good buys. Pick up reasonable prices in these departments:

MATTRESSES. Year after year, September is the time for mattress sales. Expect these from department stores and mattress centers, usually as a part of Labor Day deals.

IPHONES. Apple has been known to announce its new iPhone installments at the company’s annual keynote in September. Usually, the unveiling is followed by a drop in prices on the current phones in anticipation of the new models.

APPLIANCES. This year, Labor Day falls on Sept. 3. Expect a series of blowout deals in the week leading up to the holiday, including promotions on appliances big and small.


Don’t let the cost of shopping spook you during the Halloween season. There will be plenty of deals on these product categories in October:

OUTDOOR FURNITURE. People generally spend less time outdoors when the temperature drops. Expect deals on patio furniture and outdoor living products when summer ends.

JEANS. Fall inventory arrives in stores in August and September, but you’ll pay top dollar unless you wait a few weeks. October is a great time to buy a new pair of jeans.

CANDY. The closer you get to Oct. 31, the better your chance at snagging a discounted bag of candy for your trick-or-treaters.


November is the month for Black Friday sales, which means some of the most popular tech products fall to their lowest prices:

TABLETS AND LAPTOPS. Electronics take center stage during Black Friday sales. Look for discounts on smartphones and activity trackers, too.

GAMING SYSTEMS. Black Friday is the best time to buy a discounted gaming console or gaming system bundle like Xbox or PlayStation.

HOME APPLIANCES. Reserve your major home appliance purchase — refrigerator, washer, dryer, dishwasher, etc. — for Black Friday deals. Often, sales on these can be found throughout the month.


The end of the year is just the beginning for discounts in some product categories. Look for sale prices on these products in December:

TOYS. Since toys are a popular Christmas gift, stores generally host big toy sales as the holiday season draws to a close.

CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS. Beginning the day after Christmas, shop sales for deep discounts — often upward of 50 percent — on decorations, wrapping paper, ornaments, artificial trees and similar seasonal fixings.

CARS. The end of December is an ideal time to buy a car. That’s when dealerships are looking to meet end-of-year sales quotas. — (AP)

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Asian tableware gains popularity in home decor stores – Honolulu Star


    A bowl from Miya Company. Indigo blue raindrops create a pleasing geometric pattern on this bowl that can be used for rice, cereal or soup.






Japan, China and Korea have a long history of creating beautiful table goods, from rustic stoneware to delicate ceramics, sleek lacquered items to whimsical serveware and utensils. This tableware is appearing more and more in decor stores on this side of the world as part of several trends: minimalism, globalism, eclecticism.

Miya Company, based in New York City, imports a wide range of Japanese tableware and gifts.

“We’re a third-generation family business that was started in the 1930s by my husband’s great uncle, Chosuke Miyahira,” says spokeswoman Heidi Moon.

Miya was initially a flower shop, and then began offering tableware. Moon says its motto today is “friends don’t let friends use boring dishes,” and that whatever they sell has to be “beautiful, simple, and fun.”

From Zen to zany, here are some local stores that sell Asian tableware.
Marukai Wholesale Mart, 2310 Kamehameha Highway, Kalihi; 845-5051,
Iida’s, 1202 Kona St.; 973-0320,
Don Quijote, stores in Honolulu, Pearl City, Waipahu;
Palama Market, stores in Honolulu, Kalihi, Pearl City;
Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i gift shop, 2454 S. Beretania St.; 945-7633,
The Cherry Co., 3375 Koapaka St. Suite A-185; 422-6555,

In the utensils department, there are fanciful tongs shaped like cat paws, and a man-shaped chopsticks holder with hollow legs so the sticks make him look like a stilt walker. In the ceramics section, there are plates and cups resembling traditional kokeshi dolls. Blue and white ceramic bowls, ideal for cereal, rice or soup, are stamped with a simple raindrop pattern, and come in sets with wooden chopsticks. There are cleverly designed mugs, too. A calico cat-shaped cup has its own little kitten spoon.

From Jewel Japan, distributed by Miya, a microwave-safe series of mugs printed with modern graphics of cats, whales, or origami cranes come with handy matching lids to keep beverages warm.

Cats are well represented in Asian tableware as symbols of good luck. Along with all the feline mugs, there are playful pussycats gamboling over glass and porcelain plates, and a clever cat-shaped matte black teapot, with the cat’s head becoming a cup.

A striking black and white plate collection by Komon draws inspiration from traditional Japanese patterns like hemp leaves, snowflakes, arrow feathers and thatching.

Run by the Lin family since 1997, Mrs. Lin’s Kitchen in Pleasanton, Calif., sells table and kitchen goods as well as home accessories. A collection of serveware is designed in the style of 16th century Japanese Oribe ceramics, known for their bold designs and copper green glaze. A pattern called Sunlit Forest evokes sunlight streaming through a woodland canopy at midday.

There are jaunty lidded chawanmushi cups, traditionally used for egg custard. Painted with star flowers or clover, they’d make a pretty presentation for a sweet dessert.

Children’s chopstick sets include holders shaped like pandas, cats and bunnies.

Beautiful Wakasa chopsticks are made of hand-lacquered wood that’s then inlaid with shell or pearl in a design meant to evoke the clear, rippling waters of Japan’s Wakasa Bay.

Forget those boring buffet platters; consider a detailed, miniature lacquerware boat or bridge on which to perch the savories or sweets. Red and gold trim accents these glossy black pieces that would bring a touch of drama to the table.

CB2 has a matte-black, rustic, clay stoneware dish set comprised of a cup and saucer, bowl and two round plates with raised edges in the traditional Japanese style.

And School of the Art Institute of Chicago student Louis Kishfy designed a serene little tea mug that marries a gritty, tactile stoneware base with a silken glazed cloak in white, cobalt or sky blue.

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