The Pyrex Bug: How Two Sisters Share Their Pyrex Quest

published Mar 12, 2015
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(Image credit: Rochelle Hartley)

When the Pyrex bug bites, it bites hard. One offhand thrift store purchase turns into a house brimming with Crayola-colored bowls and casserole dishes, as Andrea Lutz knows all too well.

Andrea, a reporter for KTVB in Boise, Idaho, spends her off hours hunting down Pyrex in local antique shops and flea markets. But it’s her younger sister, Rochelle Hartley, who got her hooked in the first place around a year ago during a joint shopping trip where Rochelle— the self described “kitchen person” of the pair—snagged her first set of Pyrex mixing bowls. Since then, “it’s kind of become a family affair,” Andrea jokes. “We started to notice the different styles, collections, and colors, and the value in them.”

Luckily for the Pyrex-obsessed sisters, each has her own personal favorite pattern to collect and a wish list that doesn’t overlap with the other’s, so they can keep each their eyes peeled when combing through shelves of vintage finds. “Andrea and I will go antique shopping and we’ll FaceTime while we’re out,” Rochelle says. Rochelle’s Friendship-patterned refrigerator dish set is one of her most treasured finds. “That’s like a needle in a haystack,” she marvels. Andrea has a serious jones for her New Dots mixing bowls, which is nearly complete now that Rochelle found her the green dot bowl on a recent jaunt.

(Image credit: Andrea Lutz)

Both sisters agree that the vintage nostalgia was a big draw for collecting initially, but the durability of each bowl and dish became equally appealing—as well as the thrill of the hunt for these inveterate thrifters. “Pyrex was so smart about this – they came up with pieces women really wanted, styles to match their kitchen,” Andrea notes.

Andrea estimates she owns about 40 Pyrex pieces, about half the number of what her sister’s racked up. “I don’t have a ton, but that’s because it’s hard to find space for them,” Andrea says, echoing the frustrations of many a Pyrex hoarder. “And once you start collecting, you start looking for other pieces to fit with them.”

(Image credit: Rochelle Hartley)

It’s that itch to finish off a set, like snapping the last piece of a puzzle in place, that separates the casual collector from the truly Pyrex-obsessed. “I’m constantly trying to complete sets of Pyrex—”just one more piece,’ ” Rochelle keeps telling herself. “I’ll go to Goodwill, to the thrift store, antique shops and flea markets, wherever I can go to find it.” Likewise, Andrea will use eBay as a last resort to complete a set, but tries to find pieces herself locally—”there’s more reward in that…. When you’re at an estate sale or an antique shop and you find a piece, you wanna scream!”