Friday, April 22, 2016

Flashback Friday: HLCCA Conference 2004

It’s Flashback Friday! Grab your sunscreen, we’re off to Phoenix for a look back at Conference 2004! 
Conference 2004
Location: Phoenix, Arizona (Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort)
Dates: June 25–27, 2004
• Welcoming mixer: A Mexican Fiesta
• Friday night consignment auction 
• 6 seminars
• Show and Sale

• 7 judged exhibits
• Awards banquet and keynote speaker
• Post-banquet auction
• Annual meeting 

Judged Exhibits: 

A Taste of the Southwest—exhibited by Melicity Deatherage
An array of Southwestern decals on HLC wares.
Red Hot…Danger, Radioactive Area—exhibited by Gene Cox
A stunning selection of vintage red Fiesta pieces. 
Breakfast on the Riviera—exhibited by Gary Burg
HLC’s Riviera with some interesting go-along pieces as well.
Non-Judged Exhibits: 

Cavalcade of Carnival—exhibited by Kit Fox
A display of both Carnival dishes and the oatmeal boxes they came in. 
Find—exhibited by Rick Benning
Exhibit featuring serendipitous discoveries and surprising bargains that are every collector’s pride and joy. 
“Dishes—Collecting Fiesta” — Amy Levine
“Southwestern Sampler” — Melicety Deatherage
“Report from HLC” — Dave Conley
“Post 86 vs. Vintage Fiesta Shapes” — Steve Beals 
 “Insuring Your Collection” — Jim and Yvonne Tucker
“Dish Photography 101”— Becky Turner and Steve Beals

Grand Award: Melicity Deatherage
Gold Award: Melicity Deatherage, 
Silver Award: Gary Burg, Gene Cox
People’s Choice Award: Gene Cox
Best Dish Article: Linda Hedlund, “Homer Laughlin Goes to the New York World’s Fair”
Homer and Shakespeare Award: Darlene Nossaman
President’s Award: Becky Turner
Best Costume: Joan Stock

Conference exclusive pieces: 
Turquoise bread tray with Conference desert sunrise/cactus logo
Centerpieces: Turquoise carafes with Conference desert sunrise/cactus logo
“First Fire Scarlet” java mugs for all Conference attendees, courtesy of Homer Laughlin China

Banquet Keynote Speaker:
Debbie Goldstein, Director of Allied Arts and Art History instructor at Taliesin West, “Ozzie & Harriet and Homer & Russel: Post WWII Dinnerware Design”


This Conference was all about red. After years of hearing that “it couldn’t be done” collectors were thrilled that HLC had just debuted the new scarlet Fiesta glaze. Seeing it in person was like a dream come true and getting a new piece (the java mug) glazed in the new color was an added bonus. 

The opening mixer featured a mariachi band—the only time there’s been live entertainment at a Conference mixer. What a great, authentic touch! 

The documentary “Dishes—Collecting Fiesta” was shown to an enthusiastic crowd and director Amy Levine was on hand to talk about it and autograph copies of the DVD. Much of the film had been shot the year before at Conference 2003 and it was great fun to see friends and everyone’s favorite dishes in the film. 

There had been a small silent auction of consignment items from members at Conference 2003 and it was so popular that it was expanded into a live auction on Friday night. It’s become a highlight of every Conference since. (This first one had 130 items, last year’s had close to 300!) Having a dessert buffet beforehand was a bonus! 

The HLCCA’s 1936 juice pitcher, “Potter at the Wheel” honoring Frederick Hurten Rhead and the creation of Fiesta dinnerware, was unveiled at the Saturday night banquet. It’s the only two-sided pitcher in the series; the flip side bears a reproduction of Rhead’s bookplate, which had been designed by Charles Williams, Rhead's assistant.

Saturday night auction exclusives included a very limited number of utensil crocks and royalty vases with a matte terra-cotta glaze and white interior. 
Yes, it was hot—really, really hot! Temperatures during the event reached 106° (but it was a dry heat—yeah, right!). Many Conference attendees took advantage of the lazy river and multiple swimming pools at the desert resort. There was even a swim-up bar! 

- submitted by Kathy Holley and David Schaefer

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