Spring Fling

By Karen Parr-Moody



I don’t know how Jason Parker Counce does it. Among his many talents folk artist, antiques dealer, interior designer   he manages to dream up, time and time again, fresh ideas for GasLamp’s “Front Collaboration Booth. ” This month is a happy blend of springtime colors and carnival themes in a visual smorgasbord for antique lovers.


He says, “For 2013, the thought was to start off the New Year bright and springy, with the colors of spring flowers and bunnies. What's up, doc?”


Counce’s inspiration was to warm the chill off of winter’s dreary days. He placed a menagerie of animals against the bright, springtime colors of green, coral, yellow and blue. A massive cutout of Bugs Bunny is the centerpiece (photo, above right; $150; Booth B-2010).


“Who could resist a Bugs Bunny cutout?” Counce asks. “It reminded me of the old carnival cartoon figures when I was a child.”


Bugs Bunny made his official debut in the film “A Wild Hare” in 1940 and has been nibbling on carrots ever since with his flippant, “What’s up, doc?” mantra. This figure of Bugs Bunny is on a large piece of painted wood and is handmade, not manufactured. It would make a great addition to any Bugs Bunny collection.


In addition to Bugs, there’s Donald Duck, found in bean bag toss game (photo, left; $65; Booth B-1005). “Let the games begin,” says Counce, and certainly this darling piece of yesteryear will remind one of the balmy weather and carnival games of a spring long ago. It was the famous Walt Disney who created the Donald Duck character, who first appeared in the 1934 cartoon “The Wise Little Hen.”


This charming pig cookie jar is from The American Bisque Pottery, which operated in Williamstown, West Virginia from 1919 to 1982 (photo, right; $135; Booth B-308). The company was not only a maker of Kewpie doll heads; it also produced ashtrays, doorstops, banks, planters, lamps and more.


“I thought the smiling pig would help me keep the New Year’s resolution of eating fewer cookies if confronted by an adorable pig,” Counce says.


Peter Rabbit made himself famous in literature for disobeying his mother  and sneaking into Mr. McGregor's garden. But even though he was naughty, Peter Rabbit set a good example for children: He ate as many vegetables as he could before Mr. McGregor spotted him.


There’s something familiar about this darling rabbit; while Peter Rabbit wore a cornflower blue coat, this charming fellow wears a floral blouse and a green tie (photo, left; $30; Booth B-309). It would look so sweet in a child’s nursery.


“Someone made this toy bunny in the 1920s,” says Counce. “It still has its homespun
appeal today for any age.”


In the age of antiquity, Greek masks were designed to throw the voice by means of a built-in megaphone device. In recent decades, cheerleaders have held huge megaphones, such as the one in the photo, right ($60; Booth B-2010).


“I would just like to like to give a shout out, rah, rah, rah!” says Counce of this megaphone, which features the hand-painted words “go vintage” on its side.


“Let's go, vintage!” Counce says.


And at GasLamp, vintage is championed every day of the week. So, yes, “Let’s go, vintage!” It’s time to pick up some springtime finds that make us feel warm and spry.  



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