'Stay, stay at home and rest. Homekeeping hearts are happiest.' ~ Author Unknown.

Monday, January 11, 2010

~ 'Tis a Primer on Firkins!~



My friends think I am making up a new 'questionable' word.

I have had several inquiries as to what firkins are. They say with a chuckle ..... 'A WHAT? What is a 'firkin'? Aren't they called sugar or sap buckets?" I submit they are called all of the above. A firkin is described as follows on Wikipedia:

"A Firkin is an old English unit of volume. The name is derived from the Middle Dutch word vierdekijn, which means fourth, i.e. a fourth of a full-size barrel.
The term firkin is currently used to refer to antique wooden buckets, usually with wood handle and lid, about 10 inches (250 mm) high and 10 inches in diameter (about 10L or 2-3 dry gallons in capacity), formerly used to store sugar and other items."

I have a love affair with firkins. Firkins are simple. Firkins are early american art, because true antique firkins were handmade, as was everything else then. Firkins were a necessity, not a want. We have bowls today. Colonists had firkins then. A kitchen and home staple.

I have a couple of firkins, all reproduction, but each one has a story, like all pieces in a collection does. My most 'recently acquired firkin' came at Christmas from a very dear friend. She hand painted this several years ago and wanted it to have a home. Oh, it now has a home - at my house!


The next two are reproductions from my favorite shoppe, Heritage Reflections:


These two stacked firkins were 'finds' that I painted and refinished to look like real firkins, but I still love them:

Firkins are a simple pleasure to me!!!!

I also had a surprise delivery from a dear 'great cousin' in Wisconsin. Cousin Diane has become very special to me because I have only recently discovered her and met this wonderful family member. She follows my blog and sent me a fun Christmas package containing two jewels. The sheep platter in this photo actually stands on a pedestal, but the picture of the sheep was so cute I wanted to tip it on its side so I could see it better.


And isn't this star with a painted bittersweet vine just the best?

Thank you Cousin Diane - from your 'cousinette'!

I have been gone from my blog for too long, but I have had a fun time reading all your blogs! Such creativity out there! I miss them when I can't read them for a while!

I am teaching at a quilting retreat this weekend up in the mountains of Idaho. I will be taking some photos and sharing them with you all as the mountains are beautiful, as is the Bed and Breakfast that the retreat is being held at. New friendships, food, good times...... these are the simple pleasures I am blessed with this weekend.

Blessings on your week!

Shanda

6 comments:

Milah said...

I love your collection of firkins. I always thought the name sounded funny, thanks for sharing the origin.

Linda* ~ TheKeepingroom said...

Thank's for the education. I have always been confused as to what exacly a "firkin" was as well...I never thought to look it up.
I have a thing for buckets... "firkins" as well. I enjoyed seeing your collection.
Blessings,
Linda*

Anonymous said...

I too love firkins and have two that were passed to my hubby when his Dad passed away.

I absolutely love the painted one from your friend and wish she would paint one for me!

Jeanette

basketsnprims said...

I love your collection of firkins & your little redware plate. Thanks for sharing.
hugs,
Pam

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Suzanne said...

Hi, I just followed you over from Kim's blog (Old Road Primitives).
I live in Boise and noticed you have a BSU photo on your sidebar! :)

Your home is beautiful! And thanks for the "firkin" primer....I love them as well!