Bakelite: A Love Story

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At Buffalo Trading Post, we get interesting things coming into the store on a daily basis. It’s truly a treasure hunter’s dream come true, and if you are into Bakelite, your dreams are about to become a reality. But first, a brief history:

-Patented in 1907 by Belgian-born chemist Leo Baekeland, Bakelite was originally used for its nonconductivity in electrical insulators,  radio and telephone casings, and such diverse products as kitchenware, pipe stems, and toys. It is known today as the first thermosetting plastic.

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Antique Bakelite items—from household appliances to jewelry—today are displayed in museums and sold for large sums. Their appeal to collectors may lie in Bakelite’s distinctive look, as well as the way they represent a particular era: a time when more and more consumers were able to take advantage of previously out-of-reach fashions and consumer goods.

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In honor of Bakelite and our love of it, Buffalo Trading Post is running a 20% off sale of all Bakelite items on Valentine’s Day! Come pick out the perfect pieces for your collection, or start your very own collection.

Chulucanas at Buffalo Trading Post

IMG_0380 At Buffalo Trading Post, there is always something new and fun coming in through the door. Recently, a shipment of Chulucanas pottery came in directly from the Piura Region of Peru. The pottery that comes out of this region is hand made and the style and technique dates to the pre-Incan days. The designs on this pottery varies, but is traditionally made in back and white. The clay is cultivated from the ground, and is hand kneaded to let all the air pockets disappear before the clay is shaped into works of art. IMG_0382 After the clay is shaped and smoothed, it is fired twice in a special kiln. After the first firing, the darker areas are painted with a liquid clay and is fired again using mango leaves to smoke the clay and leave the charred residue on the dark areas, thus adding more black pigment to the clay. This process takes several days, and the smoking process is repeated four times. The end result is a lustrous piece that is packed and shipped around the world. Our vendor comes twice a year from Peru to Buffalo Trading Post with new and interesting designs that we buy on the spot. All pieces are one of a kind. Come to Buffalo Trading Post and pick yours out today! IMG_0381