Joan Mondale showed new pottery, glassware and place mats for the Vice President's house yesterday -- the first by American craftsmen to be commissioned for an official residence.
The settings will stay at the residence "for ever and ever," Joan Mondale said.
"Everywhere we go in the world, we see the 'official' Lennox china, white with a gold rim and a seal -- in Burma even. I wanted something for the house that would be individual and would represent the best of American potters, weavers and glassblowers," she said at a luncheon. "Besides, can you imagine serving barbecue on gold-rimmed plates?"
There were only 16 at the table -- "We didn't have money in the household account for 24," she said.
Mondale said she went to see craft schools when she and the vice president were in China. "I was very disappointed," she said, showing her guests three pots given her in China. "They're copying the sort of things they did in 1910, instead of evolving from the better, earlier period -- the wives who showed me around agreed with me."
Mondale has also borrowed furniture by American craftsmen to be integrated with the permanent furnishings of the house.
The craftsmen who made the settings attended the luncheon: glassblower Nancy Freeman of Oliver Bridge, N.Y.; potter John Glick, Farmington, Mich.; potter Vally Possony, Falls Church; glassblower Richard Ritter, Cass City, Mich.; weaver Sandra Rubel, New York, N.Y., and glassblower Eva Schonfield, Baltimore.