- Dodie Thayer, courtesy of Thayer
- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, photographed by Roland Schoor/Pix Inc./The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images
- C. Z. Guest, by Slim Aarons/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
- Dina Merrill, by NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images
On the occasion of the new Dodie Thayer for Tory Burch collection, Tory delves into Mrs. Thayer’s story — her work and its fans — and shares why she loves it.
“Dodie Thayer is a true American artisan, and her story is remarkable: Her ancestors helped settle Palm Beach, Florida, where she taught herself how to mold pottery from lettuce and cabbage leaves, creating a range of tureens, plates and objets through trial and error. A lot of trial and error, to hear her tell it.
“There’s almost a mythology built up around Dodie Thayer lettuce ware — when it does come up at auction, it is gone within minutes. It’s rare. And people who collect it — C.Z. Guest, the Duchess of Windsor, Dina Merrill and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis were avid collectors — understand that each piece is unique.
“Each piece was a labor of extraordinary love — two weeks start to finish. Every Thursday night, she would glaze a set of pieces, which would dry by morning. On Fridays, she would drive them into Palm Beach to the boutique Au Bon Gout, through which she would sell. Afterwards, she would have a wonderful lunch with friends at Ta-boo.
“I started collecting it years ago, drawn to Mrs. Thayer’s particular shade of green. Duncan Irish Green, I would learn when I finally was able to ask her. It’s the perfect pairing with pale blue. I found an old, beat-up armoire, and lined it with pale blue linen to display the few pieces of Dodie Thayer lettuce ware that I had found and treasured.”