Recently, on a beautiful spring day I visited Walter Parker at his shop in a converted schoolhouse in Dudley, Mass. Walter is a prodigious enthusiast, plumber, and collector extraordinaire of old plumbing fixtures. A visit extended itself into a three hour show and tell and tutorial on his fixtures in his shop, which included every kind of sink, toilet, faucet, shower, towel rods, and gas stoves. We clambered up to an attic chockablock treasures and into dark crawl spaces, all filled to the gills with tempting stuff. I asked him about finding some fittings for my kitchen sink-I have in mind a faucet, a filtered water tap and also a spray and he conjured up a variety of magical old faucets that could be customized and adapted to the various uses. For instance for the spray he produced a lovely curved neck faucet and then found an original piece of black rubber hose and a selection of exquisite old spray nozzles.
I also fell in love with a 1920’s sink and toilet colored in what he called “Ming” green, a perfect cloudy green forming a sort of demi-parure. I’d love to use them for the bathroom we’re constructing between my childrens’ two bedrooms. The sink even has the original Ming green faucets.
There was an intriguing wood and galvanized metal garden sink that I thought could work for the laundry room and also a selection of inexpensive marble topped sinks to set upon another vast collection of decorative sink brackets.