Friday, March 18, 2016

Flashback Friday - Conference 1999

Flashback Friday! In celebration of the upcoming 2016 HLCCA Conference, we thought it would be fun to look back at Conferences of the past and see how far this event has come since HLCCA's first Conference in 1999. We'll be counting down to Conference each Friday, with a recap of a Conference of the past, then build the excitement until it's time for this year's fun! 
Conference 1999
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Wyndham Garden Hotel)
Dates: June 11–13, 1999


• Conference opening Mixer held after-hours at Leonard's Antique Mall
• Tours of the HLC factory and the Museum of Ceramics
• Judged exhibits (5, plus one noncompetitive exhibit)
• Seminars
• Show and Sale
• Awards Banquet
• Breakfast Buffet then head to ELHSAA Auction


The Rhead Family - exhibited by Jonathan Parry, HLC art director
- a collection of Rhead family work with examples from several generations of family members, showing the broad influence of their work on the art world.
The Fiesta Ensemble - "Let gaiety and a new joy in living invade your life!" - exhibited by Fred Mutchler
- An accurate replication of a vintage 1939 Fiesta Ensemble service including all 109 listed pieces, original newspaper advertisement, and rare sales flyer insert.
Wartime HLC - exhibited by Joe Jordan
- A wartime kitchen table setting exhibit. Pieces are used from Fiesta, Harlequin and Kitchen Kraft lines.
Promotional Juice Sets - exhibited by Chuck Denlinger
- All four Fiesta promotional juice sets from 1943, 1948, and 1952 including one original box.

Fiesta in Advertising - exhibited by Candy Fagerlin and Kathy Garrels
- A collection of advertising, featuring Homer Laughlin China. Displayed were binders and flyers in the Saturday Show & Sale dealer room, available for attendees' browsing.

An Introduction to Vintage Fiesta Ware
- Bill Beck, noted Fiesta collector, presented a brief history and discussion on vintage Fiesta dinnerware. On display was an example of each piece of the line including every piece of medium green.

Five Decades of Homer Laughlin Decalware
- Ms. Elaine Borowski, noted authority on early HLC ware, discussed a representative sampling of the decalware shapes used through the 1930s and displayed and discussed examples of these shapes.  

Fiesta - Early Years
- Steve Beals, collector, spoke on researching early designs, and information being used for the then upcoming 2000 release of the HLCCA book Fiesta, Harlequin, Kitchen Kraft Dinnerwares - The Homer Laughlin China Collectors Association Guide

Homer Laughlin China - Q&A
- Dave Conley, HLC Director of Marketing and Sales was available to answer attendee questions about HLC and their dinnerware products.

LuRay Seminars - Collectors gathered to share their collections, conducted informal discussions and exchanged stories on their expanding collections with Mr. Smith, former President of TS&T.

HLCCA Awards:
The newly designed HLCCA awards were introduced in 1999. 
The Grand Award: Fiesta cobalt presentation bowl, fired with gold ring decoration including Jonathan Parry's signature.

The Gold Award: Fiesta cobalt large disk pitcher, fired with gold ring decoration and Frederick Rhead's signature.

The Silver Award: Fiesta pearl gray juice disk pitcher, fired with silver ring decoration and Frederick Rhead's signature.

The Bronze Award: Fiesta miniature disk pitcher, fired with bronze ring decoration and Frederick Rhead's signature.

The Best Dish Article Award: Fiesta pearl gray Millennium III vase, with unique platinum design including Jonathan Parry's signature.

1999 Awards: 
Grand Award: Fred Mutchler
Gold Award: Fred Mutchler, 
Silver Award: Joe Jordan, Chuck Denlinger
Best Dish Article: Joe Jordan 

Conference banquet tables: Chartreuse presentation bowls were centerpieces on each of the banquet tables.

Saturday Show & Sale room:

• Less than two years old, the HLCCA took a big step by holding its first Conference. In an effort to save money, while gauging the degree of interest in such an event, the HLCCA "shared" the facilities and some activities with the Lu-Ray collector group's convention. 

• Posters at the event were black and white—as was all but the cover of “The Dish” at that time! 

• The Conference was held the same weekend as an HLC tent sale AND the annual East Liverpool High School Alumni Association auction, where the Fiesta raspberry presentation bowls were auctioned. 

The first HLCCA Conference in 1999 was a humble yet intense start, with enthusiastic interest certainly there. It was apparent that the HLCCA would have many exciting Conferences of its own in the future. And so it began…

- submitted by Kathy Holley and David Schaefer

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