Message from the President December 2003

The Future Is Starting to Shape Up For ICGA

By Brian Pitman, December 2003

Greetings all my fellow carnival glass collectors, I trust this edition of The Pump finds you in good spirits preparing for the upcoming holidays. Things have been very busy with your beloved carnival glass association, and I want to share many of those things with you.

First and foremost, I have the pleasure to introduce a new Board member to you. Pat Rottschaefer has stepped down from the ICGA Board to pursue new interests. Pat was a real treasure to work with in Board meetings as she brought a real opinion to each discussion, and we both thank her for her service, and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavours. To fulfill the remaining part of Pat’s term as West Director, the Board has selected Phil Hessenius as the new director.

I’m sure many of you have met or know Phil from Phoenix. Phil has amassed a great collection over the years, and he is a genuine help to those interested in collecting carnival glass. Phil has worked with people both in Arizona as well as around the world in building carnival glass fellowships. I met Phil years ago at a Mickey Reichel auction, and have since visited him in his home as well as in some truly fun locations around the country. I once drove with him into northern Arizona for some filming I had to do for work of a new home that had won a national award for parts of its architecture (Phil happens to be an architect).

At this home, I was all business with my contacts, filming different parts of the home while interviewing the builder as well as the homeowners. While I was working, Phil was in the kitchen with the woman who lived there. Within a few moments, he had discovered carnival glass in the kitchen. By the time I walked into the kitchen to see how he and the woman were doing, he was writing out information on carnival glass books, websites and clubs (including ICGA) for the woman, really working to get her to join a club and learn more about the glass she owned.

This is EXACTLY the attitude we need to have about our club. There has been a lot of speculation recently about how many people in the world actually collect carnival glass, and of those, how many belong to a club. Almost everyone agrees that the percentage who belong to a club is extremely small compared to the number of collectors. Clubs matter, and it is our job to make sure collectors know why. Phil will do an excellent job of spreading the word about ICGA around the world. In July at our convention, introduce yourself to him if you haven’t met him.

Speaking of the July convention, we have more information for you. Firstly, we have a great auction planned! Jim Seeck is bringing the collection of John and Pat Rottschaefer for you, and it is a wonderful collection. In this collection you will find a spectacular dark amethyst Mitered Ovals vase, and an aqua opal Embroidered Mums bowl. The first thing you will notice is that the Rottschaefers didn’t buy anything unless it was absolutely beautiful. The bought top end color, preferring to go with something incredibly beautiful over rarity. This means simply that we will have an auction you will not want to miss, the quality is just too good!

Our display room is going to be a real treat as well. Entitled “International Carnival Glass,” we will have treasures from around the globe for you to see and enjoy, with the pinnacle coming on Friday and the educational seminar about the glass. Janet Knechtel is doing a tremendous job in putting this together, and if you want to contribute either glass or time, please contact her (her information is on the back page!).

Another new feature at this coming year’s convention will be Breakfast Show & Tell. Every morning at breakfast, we will have one collector who will show you some of their best pieces, tell you about them, and answer your questions. If that isn’t enough to get you out of bed early, we have negotiated a discounted rate for the breakfast buffet for you! We hope to see you in the mornings.

On top of this, we have another seminar, as well as a few secrets that will be unveiled in due time. What does this mean for you? It means this will be a great FUN convention with a bunch of education, and a bunch of changes for the better. Check out the ICGA website in the upcoming weeks for hotel reservation information, as well as an updated program. You can find it at

Finally, I wrote last time about the future of ICGA needing to embrace the past, the history of this storied club. Our association came about to fill the needs of carnival glass collectors and to provide a fellowship not previously available. Since that time, things have changed dramatically. I am interested in your needs, the things you want ICGA to do for you. Contact me and let me know your thoughts. What are you missing from ICGA? What did we used to do that you miss? What do you wish we would start doing? How can we make this club better for you? What would make you want to get other collectors in ICGA?

My contact information is on the back page of the Pump. Get a hold of me, be it through email, a letter or a phone call. I want to hear what you think of our club and ways to make it better. Together, we make the best possible team to grow our association and create a new golden age for carnival glass collectors. So c’mon teammate, let’s get started…

Brian Pitman