Thursday, April 26, 2012

As New Antique Coppers

Last evening from 5-8pm we held the first Encinitas Station Market farmers market in San Diego, which my friend Raquel is managing.  I can not begin to tell you the amount of work that goes into opening a farmers market, let’s start with the permitting aspect, which took a year and a half!  I will have more pics to show you of the amazing vendors from this market soon, as well as some of the decorative aspects of the market as I have been working in a stylist role for the market.

Two of my favorite farmers, Kevin & Kim from Kawano Farms were there, and I floated the idea of another deal on a flat of strawberries to make more jam.  Kevin is great guy, and it seems he also has a soft spot for organic strawberry jam….so I left last evening with a full flat from him (“here, you don’t have enough,” he said, as he spread two more baskets on top of the flat), in exchange for bringing a large jam jar to the market on Sunday.  A new farmer Daniel also gave me a three pack of his strawberries, so of course today I got busy with an even larger batch of jam from 17 free small baskets, which I will give to family and market friends this weekend, this time in 12 smaller jars~


With all the “color added” foods we have today, including farmed salmon, I love seeing “no color added” foods~


I am not sure if you noticed the top photo has a few pieces of copper in it.  Here below are the trio of all purpose stock pots (fait tout in French, as they are indeed for everything) that I used at Christmas.  The one top left is from a large set I got at an Upper East Side thrift store for $75 (stamped for a now defunct NYC store and Made in France), the XL and petit ones are 19thC and purchased from my friend Guy.  The linings are rather black and the XL was really in need of relining.  Guy lives in Brittany and has collected antique copper for decades, and even he does not know anyone who can retin the old pots in France, and if they could, he said, it would surely be expensive.  Personally, I want all of my old coppers to be functional, not just decorative, and I have been buying with the idea of retinning many of them. And so, in January my suitcases on the return contained the first series of pots to be retinned here. 


I sent a series of casseroles, the two fait touts and an oval roaster to Jim at East Coast Tinning.  I just got them back after a short few weeks turnaround time.  I could not believe it; they look AMAZING!!  Thank you Jim!!!  Here is the XL fait tout.  This pot is 12” tall and 11” in diameter and now sits with pride on my range as there is no cabinet big enough to hold it~


The formerly blackened and worn lining and lid are now pristine~


Retinning is done by hand; here you can see the marks of the hand-wiped tin; this is excellent work, it looks like new inside and no worries about cooking with this….if you use copper pots you will learn not to use metal utensils and not to cook “dry” (without oil or sauces) as this can cause the tin to bubble and the copper to show through (=bad!)… 


I used the XL fait tout today for all of the berries…it still only filled the pot half way…and after making the jam the pot cleaned up perfectly…


I have always admired the old French coppers with their monograms.  Jim will do this for you too, for $20.  As I don’t plan to resell any of these pieces, I had mine monogrammed…I settled on A.D for my stamp... 


Jim also polishes each of the pieces for a small cost.  I’m keeping this in mind for some of my other antique pieces that Guy will spend days polishing before sending to me….maybe next time I will just send them to Jim for a polish, which I can then easily maintain.  Visit Jim’s website HERE to see the calculator for cost.  I will say that the cost to retin is very reasonable in my opinion.  Even with the cost of retinning, these old pieces are a fraction of the cost of the new equivalents, and of course the new ones don’t come with details like 19thC dovetail joinery~ 


If you like vintage cookware, give the old coppers you see a second look if the copper itself is intact and of heavy gauge.  Jim can surely fix them up for you!  Would love to hear from any of you who also collect…


  1. Such great information... and gorgeous post!!!
    These will last another century!

  2. How excited am I!!!!! The pots turned out beautifully. Might have to visit Guy's soon and buy a few more pieces without worry.
    Saw you called the other day. I was in a vertigo medication induced slumber. Better now. Let's talk soon. I plan to come see you in May.

  3. Andrea I love seeing all of your jars of fresh strawberry beautiful and I know yummy.

    Adore all of your copper pots. I know you have a source..I used to know the owners of Sheffield Plating in San Diego; we were neighbors on Harbor View Drive...

    The 2012 Artist Series Feature on Anita Rivera, Designer & Paper Artist, with her Giveaway is on my site!

    Art by Karena

  4. I love this - they look like new. Now your confiture will taste even better!
    We need to touch base soon, hope all is well with you.
    Bon week-end,

  5. Andrea,
    I WISH we could have the same service here!!! for the very same reason of having retinned, I have stuck to new copper pots by Muviel, but oh the look of the old is soooooo much better and even more so with retinning. enjoy them and love your images with all the details of the pots.
    have a lovley weekend.
    Colette x

  6. Such great news I myself have been collecting old french copper pans and I had no idea you could have them re-tinned.Thanks so much for the info.Your pans are beautiful~Cheers Kim

  7. Andrea, thank you for this very important info.....I have copper pots in storage which need attention....because of this I shall resurface them and use again , N.xo

  8. Ah this post reminded me of my childhood home. My parents used all copper pots and they were so beautiful.. as are yours! They are SO heavy!!
    Lovely post! The strawberries look delicious!

  9. Thanks for the news on the french copper pans. I got some from my mother and will keep this in mind. Love your photos.


  10. Andrea, did you receive my order for either the large Eze or the Bandol basket whichever you have in stock?

    Thanks so much!
    I have featured an Interview on my site with Tina from The Enchanted Home...


    Art by Karena

  11. LOVELY PICS:) I really like your blog and I want to follow, do you have twitter or FB??

    If you want some swedish decor inspiration, you can check out my blog:)
    Have a great week.

    LOVE Maria at

  12. Can't wait to have have a fait tout on the stove in France - actually a stove in MFF wouldn't go amiss!