Beautiful & Connected
The 2019 FBICC Convention was held in the beautiful city of Pittsburgh, in my home state of Pennsylvania. We had a great turnout, and the activities did not disappoint those who came. The convention featured two tours on Thursday; one half day and one full day where folks could ride the Duquesne Incline and get a wonderful view of the city, tour the city in a restored Trolly car, and wander the estate and home of Steel Magnate Henry Clay Frick. Thursday evening featured a Meet & Greet event where we feasted on hors d’oeuvres, enjoyed a cash bar, reacquainted with old friends, and made some new ones. Barbara Kamerance and Sue Ellen Appleman were the gracious hostesses who greeted attendees. Judy Boyer’s First Timer meeting welcomed eight new attendees and provided a great intro to both the convention and collecting Flow Blue and Mulberry. Friday Morning, Helen and Jim Swan gave a seminar titled “Shapely Beauties” which highlighted the new Shapes Database and gave a tutorial on navigating around this valuable reference site. Did you know that shapes can help you to identify that mystery pattern and show you there may be more than one teapot made in your pattern but in a different shape or size? Mike Vail gave a presentation titled “Life on LaBelle Rivière, Wheeling Pottery” (which is a stone’s throw from Pittsburgh). Donna Freter and Dick Southern provided the historical backbone to the presentation. Mike displayed some truly rare and unusual LaBelle pieces from his private collection. We took a quick break and then moved on to Crossover Collections, Bluetique and Tops and Bottoms sales. Crossover Collections gives members the opportunity to share their “other” collecting passions. We were treated to a display of Victorian silverware by John and Laurel Provine, beautiful Currier and Ives Prints by David and Mari Crumb, and Mike Ferrie’s unique collection of “Tramp Art”. The Sales Extravaganza followed, and we all rushed in to find some wonderful additions to our collections. Friday evening was a blur of check ins for the much-anticipated auction and even more anticipated viewing of tables laden with amazing pieces. Saturday morning, we all eagerly filled the Grand Ballroom for Warren Macy’s Rare and Unusual seminar, which is always entertaining and includes items in Flow Blue & Mulberry that you never knew existed. The Business Lunch followed with the presentation of the William Miller Service Award to Betty Reed and Barbara and David Kamerance . This award recognized individuals who have made significant contributions to the club i.e., significant time commitment, creation of an invaluable service, and/or a high level of quality work. Betty is a longtime member of the Education Committee. Betty regularly researches and presents the Education Seminars at the conventions and writes articles for the FBICC Website. Barbara and David relentlessly research and prepare historically accurate, informative, and entertaining presentations. Additionally, Barbara and David write a yearly feature article for the Blue Berry Notes. Following the Business meeting, we all eagerly entered the Grand Ballroom for the jewel of Convention: The Auction! Dennis Jackson of Jackson’s Auction Company once again entertained us as Jon Houserman’s intrepid group of volunteers (jurists, photographers, auction check in staff, sales recorders, and auction runners) put in tireless hours to make this event all come together. Sunday morning, we each went our respective ways, exhausted, happy but sad to say goodbye. I want to thank the many volunteers who supported me and the club to make this wonderful event happen. Without all of you, it would never have happened. Until the next convention when we meet again, I bid you happy collecting.
2019 Pittsburgh Convention Chair