Friday, April 1, 2016

Flashback Friday- HLCCA Conference 2001

Flashback Friday is here and it’s time to revisit another HLCCA Conference from the past. Let’s step into our time machine and go back to the third Conference, held in 2001. The event was growing in popularity and taking shape as new activities—like the first mixer—were added. 
Conference 2001
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Radisson Hotel Green Tree)
Dates: August 2–5, 2001
• Welcoming event: The Fiesta Circus
• Homer Laughlin China Company factory tour
• Hall China Company factory tour
• After-hours shopping at Riverfront Antique Mall
• 7 seminars
• Show and Sale
• 7 judged exhibits 
• Awards banquet and keynote speaker: Dr. Charles L. Venable
• Auction
• Annual meeting 


Casserole or Covered Vegetable?—exhibited by Andy Flachs
A look at HLC covered serving bowls. 
Make Mine a Large Slice—exhibited by Jane Flachs
A look at cake lifters made by HLC and other potters.
Homer Laughlin Goes to the New York World’s Fair—exhibited by Linda Hedlund
A display of artifacts from the New York World’s Fair centered around a variety of Homer Laughlin pieces. 
The Shape IS the Thing, ca. 1895–1942—exhibited by Michael W. Rechel and Ralph M. Palmieri
To demonstrate the variety of HLC embossed ware, from European-inspired designs to the emergence of distinctively American shapes. 
Ephemera Euphoria!—exhibited by Harvey C. Linn, Jr. and Timothy J. Finnen
A display reflecting the use of HLC’s trademarks, logos, and images in the marketing and packaging of HLC merchandise.

Diversity in the Clay: 100+ Shapes Spanning 100+ Years—exhibited by Fred Mutchler
An extensive display of the HLC shapes from the past century.
Looks Good on Paper—Vintage HLC Ephemera and Advertising—exhibited by Dennis Stasiak
A wide variety of vintage paper goods, original packaging, and items with original price tags give a feeling for the period and the people of the 1930s through 1960s. A 1939 Fiesta standup store display was the exhibit highlight.

“Ephemera: It’s All About Marketing” — Fred Mutchler
A general discussion and collector's review of the realm of ephemera in the HLC world --  advertising, pricelists, packaging, displays, and assorted go-alongs, with displayed examples.

“Post-86 Fiesta: An Introduction” — Harvey Linn
Overview of Post-86 collecting and discussion of shapes and colors.

“The Ameriwhite Collection: Unity” — Judi Noble, HLC Art Director and Joe Geisse, HLC Head Modeler
Judi and Joe discussed the exciting development process behind the development of "Unity" and the modeling/design process involved with the newly introduced Fiesta utensil crock.
“Homer Laughlin Shapes and Decorations” — Jo Cunningham
Noted author of many books on Homer Laughlin China, Jo Cunningham discussed the dinnerware shapes produced by HLC, will follow-up question and answer session.

“Collecting Wells Art Glaze” — Bradley Payne
Pre-dating Fiesta dinnerware, Wells Art Glaze represented one of HLC's first eforts in producing a solid color dinnerware line with variety of glazes -- informal commentary and slide presentation focused on shapes, colors, and extent of the line.

“The Pottery Papers” — Candy Fagerlin
Attendees lined up for popcorn and soda, then sat back and enjoyed the cinematid adventure into Homer Laughlin's paper history, including Virginia Rose, OvenServe, Fiesta and more, beginning back from 1873 to 2001.

“A Conversation with HLC” — Dave Conley, HLC Director of Marketing and Sales.
Informal discussion with question and answer session about HLC and dinnerware products.

Grand Award: Dennis Stasiak
Gold Award: Harvey Linn and Timothy Finnen, Michael Rechel and Ralph Palmieri, Dennis Stasiak, 
Silver Award: Linda Hedlund, Fred Mutchler
Bronze Award: Andy Flachs, Jane Flachs
People’s Choice Award: Dennis Stasiak
Best Dish Article: Mark Gonzalez, “Mr. Watkin—Modeling Distinctive Dishes”
Homer and Shakespeare Award: Nancy May
President’s Award: David Schaefer

Conference exclusive piece: 
Star-center Geo bowl in sunflower with HLCCA logo and conference backstamp
Fiesta–shaped edible vases made of white chocolate were the centerpiece prizes
Attendees to the “Pottery Papers” seminar received a sunflower Fiesta bread and butter plate decorated with the name of the presentation and the date.

Banquet Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Charles Venable, Curator of Decorative Arts, Dallas Museum of Art, spoke on the history of the U.S. dinnerware industry and HLC’s role in it. 


While previous Conferences were held in early June, that date proved difficult for people who were teachers or who had kids in school, so this time the organization tried holding the event in early August. 

The first-ever mixer was held, with a carnival theme. Members bobbed for shakers, played Fiesta checkers, pinned the handle on the demitasse pot, and got to throw HLC clay! 

“The Pottery Papers”, a multimedia presentation by Candy Fagerlin, outlining the history of Homer Laughlin China through advertising, price lists, and other ephemera, was presented in a movie-house format, complete with popcorn, vintage concession stand candy, ushers, and a red carpet walk of fame. (You can still find many of the images and information from “The Pottery Papers” archived online in reverse chronological format here:

In addition to the judged exhibits, there was a “Crafts Table” where attendees could show items they had created related to Fiesta and HLC wares. There was photography, embroidery, tile mosaics, greeting cards, a hooked rug, and more.

The HLCCA’s 1933 juice pitcher (World’s Fair, A Century of Progress) was unveiled at the Saturday night banquet. 

Two new awards were presented: the President’s Award and the Homer and Shakespeare Award, honoring members who have contributed time, effort, and talent to the organization. 

For the first time, there was an auction on Saturday night following the awards presentation and keynote speaker. Items sold included prototypes of some of the HLCCA pitchers, a one-of-a-kind Fiestaware 2000 charger in seamist, and the games and posters used at the Thursday night welcome event.

The HLCCA was charting new territory as plans were made to hold the next Conference at a different location—New Orleans! Check back next week to learn more about that event! 

 - submitted by Kathy Holley and David Schaefer

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