Message from the President December 2016

Happy Anniversary and Merry Christmas! 12/2016

In the past year, we have talked a couple of times about how this is ICGA’s 50th Anniversary. It’s amazing to me to think that in 1966 in Indianapolis (at the inaugural ACGA convention, nonetheless), ICGA came into existence in the idea stage, soon to be followed by the more formal creation of our beloved carnival glass association. ICGA is three years older than me, and hopefully it will outlive me by decades and decades. It’s not an easy thing to exist in this day and age as a nonprofit (another thing we have discussed before in the past), but for one to make it and thrive like ICGA does these days is fantastic!

So a few years ago, the Board was in a meeting and we started chatting about how to celebrate our 50th Anniversary when we got to it. There were several ideas (a special cake at the convention, which we did this past year, as well as all sorts of fun ideas). One, though, stuck in my head like a Lady Gaga song (and if you have ever had a Gaga song in your head, you know that it can get kinda painful). It was the idea of making a special commemorative piece for the club, one that people would buy and love and enjoy in their collection. Making a souvenir these days is pretty much unheard of in carnival glass clubs (Fenton is long dead, clubs tried very hard to sell them but found it very difficult in the final few years of souvenirs, and ICGA’s last official souvenir was an Aqua Opal miniature Town Pump nine years ago in 2007). But what would make a souvenir that people wanted?

Last autumn at the final www.cga convention in Wichita, Kansas, Emmett and Dorothy Morgan were scheduled to give a seminar but life got in the way and they were unable to attend. We didn’t have a backup, but we did have one thing: Mitchell Stewart, at my request, had stopped by Ann Fenton’s shop in Springfield, Missouri to pick up a “little” something I had left in her good care. That little something was the mould to Dugan’s Christmas Compote. Weighing what we in science call a “ginormous” amount, Mitchell had carted it to Wichita and suddenly, we had an idea for a seminar.

We pulled it out and put it on a table (it took a couple of us to make it happen) and opened it up. Fred Stone and I had bought the mould from Dave Richardson (the Glass Collectors Digest publisher who was instrumental in the finding of the mould, as well as finally determining that it was a Dugan piece) in the late 90s, but I hadn’t seen the mould with my own eyes. Finally, in front of a hundred people or so, I was able to see it and to give a seminar showing how the mould was used to make carnival glass (and even take some pictures of a beautiful Christmas Compote that Todd Kuwitsky had brought sitting on the mould). An article filled with pictures from that seminar ran in The Carnival Pump, December 2015, already, so check it out for some neat pics, as well as a photo of the Dugan/Diamond logo that finally solved the mystery as to the compote’s origin.

So as we were putting the mould back in the car, Mitchell had the idea that perhaps Tim Mosser in Cambridge could make some pieces with the mould. I had chatted with George Fenton many times about making souvenirs, but he simply didn’t have the skilled workers any longer that could have made it work economically. Tim took the mould and took a look at it. In March of this year when I was vacationing in California, Tim called me and said he felt he could easily make pieces with the mould, giving us one heck of a souvenir for ICGA’s 50th Anniversary. We had 100 of them made and only ICGA members have the opportunity to buy one. Check out the order form and send it in so that you may enjoy the anniversary with a piece fitting of ICGA’s history. I have my piece already, and it’s beautiful! It makes the best Christmas gift!!
Merry Christmas and Happy Anniversary, my friends! I will see you in 2017!