Friday, April 15, 2016

Flashback Friday- HLCCA Conference 2003


Time for another trip back in time on Flashback Friday! As we continue our countdown to this year’s HLCCA Conference, here’s a look back at Conference 2003—the fifth anniversary celebration! 
Conference 2003
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Radisson Hotel Green Tree)
Dates: July 17–20, 2003
Activities: 
• Welcoming mixer: Green—One of Many Colors
• HLC tour
• Tour of the historic C. C. Thompson house and picnic lunch
• Friday evening baseball game: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Milwaukee Brewers (optional)
• 6 seminars
• Show and Sale
• 8 display exhibits
• Silent Auction prior to banquet
• Awards banquet and keynote speaker
• Live auction
• Annual meeting 

Exhibits: 

Free! Free! Free!—exhibited by Jerry LeFever
Over the years, dinnerware premiums were given away by movie theaters, cereal companies, and detergent manufacturers. This display highlighted Homer Laughlin dish freebies. 
Medium Green Halloween—exhibited by Dennis Erlston
A spooky setting filed with a huge assortment of medium green Fiesta and Harlequin.
Laughlin Art China—exhibited by Chuck Denlinger
Various pieces and decorations from 1903–08, including very rare pieces of Delft.
Mastery of the Clay: The Consummate Craftsmanship of Laughlin Potters—exhibited by Fred Mutchler
Exhibit featuring exquisite beauty and craft created by HLC potters, highlighted by a museum-quality 19th century pate-sur-pate urn. 
You’ve Had a Siesta, Now Let’s Fiesta—exhibited by Nancy May
Setting the scene for a lovely evening in Barcelona, a cocktail party by the riverbanks.
Out of Mind Designs—exhibited by Joan Stock
Taking collecting beyond the dishes, a display of linens and handcrafted items related to Fiesta.
Charlotte Rhead, Frederick’s “Little” Sister—exhibited by Ralph Palmieri and Michael Rechel
A sampling of pottery designed by Charlotte Rhead, the talented younger sister of Frederick Hurten Rhead. 
Things You Don’t See Every Day—exhibited by various HLCCA members
Unusual pieces that are not commonly available, including go-alongs, Amberstone oddities, Harlequin in hard-to-find colors, HLC trial pieces, and others. 
Seminars: 
“Don Schreckengost, HLC Art Designer” — Jo Cunningham
“The Homer Laughlin Family: The California Years” — Darlene Nossaman
“Fiesta Body and Glaze Raw Materials” — Mike Tkach
“Get Your Kicks on Post 86!” — Harvey Linn, Jr. 

 “Ask HLC” — Dave Conley
“Photographing Your Dishes”—Steve Beals, Becky Turner, and Matthew Whalen

Awards: 
Grand Award: Chuck Denlinger
Gold Award: Dennis Erlston, Jerry Lefever, Chuck Denlinger, Fred Mutchler 
People’s Choice Award: Becky Turner
Best Dish Article: Becky Turner, “Homer and Betty…a Longstanding Relationship”
Homer and Shakespeare Award: Jo Cunningham
President’s Award: Sandra Bond
HLCCA Lifetime Membership Award: Jo Cunningham and Darlene Nossaman
Best Costume: Sandra Bond

Conference exclusive pieces: 
Baseball-decorated sugar bowl with HLCCA 5th anniversary logo
Centerpieces: 40 baseball-decorated teapots with HLCCA 5th anniversary logo
(HLCCA exclusive baseball-decorated bulb candleholders and salt and pepper shakers were sold by the organization a few months later)
Banquet Keynote Speaker:
Thomas Sokolowski, Director, Andy Warhol Museum, “Possession/Obsession”

Highlights: 

Everyone was asked to wear green to the mixer, in honor of the many shades of green dishware HLC has produced through the years. There were green-themed activities, such as a green vegetable matching game. But oops—a brief power outage at the hotel had everyone scrambling to get where they wanted to go without being able to use the hotel elevators! 
On the HLC tour, Conference-goers spied a new piece in production—canisters! Other news from HLC was about the popularity of the new color, tangerine, and whether persimmon would remain in the line-up. 
Rain threatened the optional baseball game excursion on Friday evening at Three Rivers Stadium, and heavy traffic delayed the dish fans as they made their way to the game. In the end, the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Milwaukee Brewers, 7–2, and a spectacular fireworks show followed the game.

A new tradition is born—this is the Conference where the baseball trading-card game originated. It continues to be a popular pre-banquet activity. 

The HLCCA’s 1935 juice pitcher, “Dish Night at the Movies,” was unveiled at the Saturday night banquet. 

There were two auctions on Saturday evening—a silent auction of items donated by HLCCA members before the banquet, then a live auction after the awards and keynote address. Among the special items up for auction: 10 numbered, limited-edition trivets in a saturated iron oxide glaze, decaled with an explanatory inscription on the back. 

In an effort to stretch out Conference activities, a seminar was held on Sunday afternoon. While those who attended learned and had fun, as they experimented with new digital camera technology(!), with too many people leaving right after the brunch and business meeting, this was a one-time only event. 

All of the HLCCA-related footage and interviews for the documentary, "Dishes" by Amy Levine was shot at this Conference.


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