Thursday, January 19, 2012

Martha by Mail ~ Great Big Mixing Bowls

The Great Big Mixing Bowls were commissioned many years ago from the Robinson Ransbottom Pottery Company (they were in business from 1900 to 2005) by the designers of the Martha by Mail catalog.  Generously proportioned and quite heavy for their size, the set of 3 nesting bowls came in either a white or yellow glaze (I've found this particular shape & style often referred to as 'mustard mixer').  Using traditional methods and the thinnest of glazes, one can see how the master potters at Robinson Ransbottom worked to make these bowls unique pieces of stoneware.  A small drip or pop in the glaze here, a nick in the clay there are just some of the endearing characteristics of these mixing bowls.  I invite you to take a closer look at these pieces from my collection.  They are beautiful bowls.


"These generously sized stoneware bowls are created using traditional methods and unrefined clay, then finished with a light glaze.  Made by a century-old American company, the hefty, vintage pottery bowls are pretty enough for baking and serving every day."


The Great Big Mixing Bowls. 


Nested, they don't take up a lot of room, but they are very heavy.  It takes a considerable amount of effort to move the entire set all at once. 

Note: these bowls were a bit problematic for Martha by Mail to ship because of their weight.  I had to order these several times (with a special request to have extra padding put into my shipping box) just to have them arrive in tact.  They were packaged (like picture above) with cardboard dividers in between each bowl, but the bottom of the box lacked the correct amount of padding.  More often then not, the set arrived cracked or broken. 


Small bowl measures 4 1/4" high with an 8" diameter. 


Medium bowl measures 5 3/4" high with a 10" diameter.


Large bowl measures 7 1/2" high with a 12" diameter.  This bowl is large and capacious.  The bowls are stamped with the diameter, Roseville, Ohio, U.S.A. and R.R.P.Co.

Note for the collector: I advise you to carefully examine this particular bowl for cracks or signs of breakage.  This was perhaps the most damaged bowl of the entire set during shipping. 

Do not confuse this company with Roseville Pottery.  The stamp R.R.P.Co stands for Robinson Ransbottom Pottery.

These are certainly heirloom pieces.

Martha uses these in her kitchen at Skylands, her home in Maine (pictured above).

13 comments:

  1. Although you stated the bowls came in White and Yellow I have a set of Dark Blue.

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  2. Do you really have a dark blue set of these??? I had no idea there was such a thing. When Martha by Mail was around they only offered yellow and white. PLEASE email me a picture of them. I want to see!

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  3. I have a set of the mustard that I'm giving to my granddaughter -- do you remember the price? Doesn't matter, I just want her to know they have heirloom value.

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  4. No No, give them to me!! I'm joking.

    At the time these beautiful bowls were offered, the set was going for $75 with an additional shipping charge of $8 or $10 (this was because of their weight).

    Keep in mind, most sets never arrived intact because there was a problem with their packaging. SO....if you have an entire set that's intact, you can definitely tell your granddaughter that she has a set of bowls that very few people own. I hope she enjoys them!!

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  5. Guess I was lucky -- all 3 arrived in tact and I have used them often over the years. My other favorite "Martha" items are a robin-egg blue Le Creuset 9x13 enameled castiron that I make use when making Martha's (grown-up decadent version) Mac & Cheese. The other is a HUGE rectangular white roasting dish. After we moved it has never fit in any oven I've had so I've used it as a serving dish -- always impressive...but alas, we are down-sizing so I sold it to a co-worker. I love Martha's style and taste always have always will!

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  6. That Le Creuset set in drabware with the robin's egg blue interior was beautiful. I regret not getting them. By the way, send me images of those mustard colored Great Big Mixing Bowls if you can.

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  7. My dog just broke my medium sized white bowl. Grrrr! I've had these since my college days when I worked in a retail gift store...I scored them for 40% of their retail price! Any ideas for finding a replacement?

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  8. Well, you sometimes do see them come up for auction on ebay or maybe etsy. Keep an eye out for this particular style of bowls.

    Do you have the white or the yellow ones?

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  9. Do you remember the set of yelloware mixing bowls (MBM)? Those were my favorite. Oh I regret not purchasing those.

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  10. Coco, I do remember the yellowware mixing bowls from MBM. In fact, she had 4 sets of yellowware bowls that she offered through the catalog. They were in this Great Big Mixing Bowl version, a diamond patterned version, a white stripe version and one with blue stripes. I missed out on the last 2 versions! Grrr...

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  11. Jeannie in MissouriDecember 1, 2015 at 9:49 PM

    I actually have the largest mixing bowl in a seafoam or olive green color and my mom has the white set. A little quilt shop with primitives in mid-Missouri used to sell them.

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    1. Jeannie, I have never heard of these coming in seafoam/olive green! Wow, that is amazing. I love the mixing bowls because they are so well made and are generously proportioned.

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