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What is Fiestaware?

Shannon Kietzman
Shannon Kietzman

Fiestaware is a term used to refer to a line of dinnerware by the name of Fiesta. Fiestaware comes in a wide variety of colors and was an instant success when it hit the market in 1936. Although Fiestaware was not the first dinnerware of its type to be created, it was the first to be mass marketed. As a result, most people began to assume that all solid colored dinnerware was Fiestaware. Fiestaware added a new twist to dinnerware because, at the time, the majority of kitchenware was decorated with decal designs rather than being a simple solid color glaze.

Fiestaware was also different from the norm at the time, because it encouraged mixing and matching of pieces. The line also included unusual pieces, such as candleholders and a vase. The concept of combining place pieces and serving pieces together was virtually unheard of at the time, yet Fiestaware encouraged this as well. In essence, Fiestaware gave the hostess at the time the ability to create her own look at the table, rather than following a preconceived table design.

Woman with a flower
Woman with a flower

As the company that created Fiestaware grew, so did its line of products. At one point, the line offered an astounding sixty-four different pieces, including water tumblers, teapots, carafes, vases, and relish trays. In 1942, however, the Fiestaware line was reduced in response to World War II. Nonetheless, the line continued and hit record sales in 1948.

In 1986, a new line of Fiestaware was used to reintroduce the dinnerware and to commemorate its 50th anniversary. Much of the line was created with the same molds used to create the original Fiestaware line. A different type of clay was used, however, and this causes shrinkage to occur during the manufacturing process. Therefore, modern pieces of Fiestaware look the same as the originals, but are noticeably smaller when compared side by side to the originals.

In addition, new shapes and designs were invented for the reintroduction of Fiestaware. The new line of Fiestaware is also smoother and shinier than the original line, as the process used to glaze the dinnerware has been improved upon.

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