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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Depression Glassware

Depression Glassware doesn’t sound very enticing, but it is actually quite lovely.  It came about during our country’s Great Depression.  A loaf of bread cost about a nickel, and so did a simple pressed glass dish from the five and dime store.  That little dish brought some color into an otherwise bleak time period for our country.  

Over a hundred patterns of Depression Glassware were manufactured in the U.S. by approximately 20 companies and distributed across the United States and Canada during the 1920’s thru the 40’s.  The most prevalent colors were light to medium green, pink, amber, along with clear glass. Fewer pieces were made in amethyst, true canary yellow, cobalt blue, opaque black, jadeite, white milk glass, and red.  With pattern names like Patrician, Old Colony, Holiday, Queen Mary, Royal Lace, Princess, and Cherry Blossom, the lady of the house could add a bit of elegance to her table for little to no expense.

Food companies would give away pieces as premiums inside their product’s box.  When you filled up your car, gas stations would give you a different piece of a collection each month. If you spent a certain amount in the grocery store you could “earn” a new piece for your dining table each week. Some companies gave away pieces of Depression Glassware if you just came into their place of business. Fairs used the glassware as prizes for their games. Toss the penny in the dish and it would be yours.

This glassware was not expensive to manufacture.  There were flaws in the glass, obvious seams, etc., but getting something for free in such a desperate time was uplifting.  The glass brought color into the home, elevated spirits, and was considered a “prize”.  

Since the 1960’s people have been collecting Depression Glassware.  While some pieces can still be had for a few dollars at yard sales and antique malls, rarer patterns and colors can command prices in the hundred’s.  Before the creation of online shopping with sources like eBay, collectors had to travel and network among themselves in order to find pieces to complete their collections.  Today you can find a plethora of depression glassware on the internet.  But watch out, a number of different companies are reproducing the old patterns and it is becoming harder and harder to determine was is real depression glassware and what is a reproduction.  

The National Depression Glassware Association is a great source of information.  On their website you can find out when and where the next show and sale of Depression Glassware is to take place, purchase books concerning the glassware,  meet collectors and exchange information, and learn all about the different patterns and manufacturers of the glass.

Happy Collecting!

Susan Hudson

Monday, May 11, 2015

Cast Iron Georgia Syrup Kettles

Black Dog Salvage has reproduced 19th Century

 Cast Iron Georgia Syrup Kettles

Reproduction Syrup Kettle

Cast Iron Syrup Kettles were used in the early 19th Century American south to produce sugar from sugar cane. This method was borrowed from 18th Century plantations in the European colonies of the Caribbean. The sugar cane was crushed using an animal-powered mill. The resulting cane juice was heated in the kettle, clarified and evaporated in multiple kettles of decreasing size.
Our kettles are an exact replica of an antique. While researching our kettle on the internet we found this story from a forum about kettle repair:
“I can remember as a boy feeding the cane grinder as a mule pulled the pole around and around all the kin under the shelter with a fire going under the syrup kettle and my Grandfather supervising making the syrup. The skimming around the edge of the kettle would cook hard and there was never a better tasting candy.”

While Sugar Kettles are no longer used in the production of sugar from sugar cane, there are many ways to enjoy these simple and elegant kettles. Out favorite is as a fire pit, nothing beats kicking back with a cold beverage to share stories and a few laughs after a tough week of salvaging, we also have them set up on site as a fountain (now with a liner).  In addition, the kettles are well suited for container or water gardening, as well as grand lawn ornaments.
Our kettles are priced at $725. This is a bargain considering the originals can fetch multiple thousands of dollars. We understand you could spend $100 or $200 at a big box store for a smaller, light-weight fire pit to enjoy, but keep in mind that these other metal bowls are not cast iron and will only last a season or two before the bottoms fall out of them. Our kettles are made to last for generations!
There are many stand options for the kettles. It is possible to set the kettle in the ground, use stone to stabilize them or use landscape block to create a well to set them in. We have stands available; they are priced at $395. Our metal shop can create a custom made stand for your new kettle; please inquire for options and pricing.
These beauties weigh in at 310Lbs. Please call or email for more information about shipping options. (540) 343-6200 or

Monday, April 27, 2015

Why do they call it "Chalk Paint" anyway?

Over twenty years ago, artist Annie Sloan, was looking for a paint that had versatility.  She was in search of a paint that would go over a multitude of surfaces and finishes, a paint with which she could create texture if she wanted. Annie was in search of a paint that met her needs as an artist and as a mother of three boys under the age of seven.  She didn’t have time to strip, sand and prime furniture.  She especially did not want to fill her home with toxic fumes and chemicals. She wanted to be able to start painting a piece in the morning and have it back in place by the afternoon. Annie couldn’t find a paint that fit her needs, so she invented one.

Annie called her paint “Chalk” paint because of its flat velvety finish.  Her paint contains no chalk or plaster, it is not a milk paint. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint has nothing to do with the current chalk paint craze, it is not chalk board paint.  What Annie’s paint IS is the answer for creative busy people.

There is no need for stripping, sanding, or priming with Annie’s paint.  You must start with a clean surface, but that surface can be painted wood, varnished, lacquered, raw wood, brick, concrete, laminate, plaster, just about anything you can imagine.  The adhesion quality of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is unbelievable.  You can apply it thick or as a wash. Her palette of colors was formulated in a fashion where by each color can stand on its own or you may mix them which affords you the ability of creating your own personal hue.  

Come join me in the paint studio and learn how versatile and easy it is to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. We have classes scheduled now at Black Dog Salvage!

Susan Hudson


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Roanoke Valley HOME Magazine features custom addition by Blue Ridge Residential and Black Dog Salvage

Be sure to stop by the shop to pick up the Spring 2015 issue of 

Roanoke Valley Home Magazine.

Flip to page 40 for "Home, Reimagined" featuring a beautiful custom addition by Robert Kulp.  This project was a great collaboration between Robert's two companies: Blue Ridge Residential and Black Dog Salvage .

Here's an excerpt, reprinted with permission from HOME Magazine with images by Kevin Hurley Photography

"In their first renovation, while they were still in Mississippi, the Johns redid the kitchen, added the extra bedroom, and then stopped.  In their rush to make the home habitable for their family, Chris and Jenny did a few things they wish they had done differently.  They felt like their renovated kitchen was not large enough, that the family simply needed more space than they realized.  So a few years after settling into their home, the couple called in their dear friend Robert Kulp of Black Dog Salvage and Blue Ridge Residential for his assistance to correct these issues. Kulp understood exactly how Chris and Jenny wanted to enhance their home.  "His vision is like ours, open and rustic," says Jenny.  The result of their collaboration is an enormous great room that extends from the back of the kitchen.

Kulp has created a family-friendly space including a huge sunroom and outdoor entertainment zone. The John home is the neighborhood gathering place.  As Harris says, "It is all about 'come in, sit down and be comfortable."

Thanks to Kulp and his vision, an expansive 500-square-foot sunroom extends into their back yard.  With three walls of windows, hewn beams and a high ceiling, the room is dramatic and perfect for an active family.  With Kulp's contacts in the salvage world, he was able to reclaim beams from an old barn and resurrect the floors from a Birmingham tobacco barn.  The outer brick wall of the original home is now an inside wall.  Oriental rugs cover portions of the floor to add warmth and style.  A large table stretches across a portion of the room and is ideal fro projects, homework or a holiday dinner.  Jenny describes this as "the best room of the house."  It is a family room, a party room, an everything room.

Kulp recognized the importance of entertainment space, and used this great room as the anchor.  An area closest to the kitchen serves as a wet bar, complete with wine refrigerators, a sink and a small bar.  An outer door leads to a side porch and an outdoor kitchen with a large grill, smoker, cooking area and fireplace.  Nearby outdoor seating and a generous-sized patio doubling as a dance floor are ideal extensions of this new addition."

- for the full article, click HERE

Monday, August 12, 2013

48" Cast Iron Fire Pit / Fountain w/ newly designed Iron Stand - modeled after Antique Syrup Kettles

Introducing our new line of cast iron fire pits.  Designed with a nod to the original syrup kettles, these make great fire pits, planters and fountains!

48" diameter $925

Custom iron stand $450

Available here at:

Please call 540-343-6200
or email:
for a shipping quote

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Salvage Job: Post-War Colonial Revival Home - NW Washington, DC - Aluminum Ogee Conservatory

The Black Dog Crew recently teamed up with Second Chance in Baltimore, MD to salvage this Post-War Colonial Revival Home in Northwest Washington, DC.

The job included removing this aluminum conservatory available here at our shop (disassembled - sorry, no manual available!) for $12,000.

      No small task but well worth saving this beautiful structure! 

* note: there are a few panes of glass missing and the top panels (double insulated plastic) were not salvaged.

Approximate footprint size:
Left side: 19' 10"
Right side: 17' 6"
Back wall 19' 6"
Heel Height 9' 6"
Overall Height 17' 6"

*** note: all roof panels require replacement

Available here at:
Roanoke, VA

For other items salvaged from this home, please see our Ebay Store HERE

Here are a few more photos of the conservatory: