If you are in California try to get to a flea market or swap: the Alameda swap in San Francisco, the Rose Bowl or Pasadena in Los Angeles , those are the ones I like the most because they are so eclectic and unusual. There are many other choices if you know where to look and these markets are huge and quite cheap, unlike some of their European counterparts.
One of the things I look out for are flower vases for my dahlias and vintage Bauer pottery. Even though good Bauer is quite expensive, you can get away by buying less than perfect pieces for daily use if you are not a collector. Each piece is unique because they are hand made and come in stunning colors : aqua,orange , coral, yellow,blue …and they make beautiful presents.
I first heard about Bauer pottery when I moved to Los Angeles in 1989 and started getting into American Arts and Crafts and Mission furniture. More on that in another post. The Bauer factory shut down in 1962 but finally in the year 2000 it started producing again company click here.
California has an important earthenware tradition and antique or junk shops are filled with lesser known names which are are also beautiful. When in San Francisco do not miss the new Heath Ceramics shop, a unique space of Californian arts and crafts and pottery.