Archives for July 2008

The 22nd Annual Grove Park Inn Arts and Crafts Conference

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It’s time once again to start planning for the Annual Arts and Crafts Conference held at the historic Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa in Asheville, North Carolina.  The 2009 event will be February 20-22.  This is a unique opportunity for Arts and Crafts collectors and enthusiasts to add to their collections, meet the experts, and learn more about the style. 

The Grove Park Inn itself is a work of art and a piece of early 20th century history.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this 95 year old inn has hosted F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and a president or two.  Visitors can still enjoy the same Hickory rockers and Roycroft chandeliers that these prestigious guests experienced in another century.  With one of the largest collections of Arts and Crafts furniture in the world, Grove Park’s ambiance makes it the perfect setting for the Annual Arts and Crafts Conference.

The $145 Conference Events Passes allow participants to attend the majority of the shows, exhibits, seminars, discussions, and demonstrations.  Registering for the conference and purchasing a pass is the best way to get the most out of the experience.  General admission to the Arts and Crafts Antiques Show, Contemporary Craftsfirms Show, and Books, Magazines, and More Show is $10 for non-registered guests.

There will be a variety of hands-on workshops for those who register early enough.  The class fees are not covered by the conference passes.  This year’s workshops will be:

  • Make Your Own Block Print Cards – with artist Laura Wilder
  • Basic Arts & Crafts Embroidery – with Ann Chaves
  • Stenciling Your Bungalow in a Material World – with author and artist Amy Miller
  • Techniques for Matting Artwork – with Peggy Hester
  • The Basics of Arts & Crafts Metalsmithing – with master artisan Ron VanOstrand
  • Introduction to Stains & Dyes – with expert restorer Dennis Bertucci
  • Duplicating an Arts & Crafts Finish – with expert restorer Dennis Bertucci
  • Decorating an Arts & Crafts Tile – with potter and designer Peg Morar
  • Decorating an Arts & Crafts Vase  – with potter and designer Peg Morar

Small group discussions are some of the most popular events of the conference.  These informal sessions are led by volunteers and provide participants the opportunity to ask questions and share information.  Discussion topics include:

  • Building an Arts & Crafts Home
  • Arts & Crafts Furniture
  • Collecting Art Pottery
  • Interior Design
  • Woodblock Prints
  • Trends in Art Pottery
  • Fakes & Frauds
  • Collecting Roycroft Books
  • Art Pottery Glazes
  • Restoring Your Bungalow
  • Color Selection
  • Arts & Crafts Metalware
  • Arts & Crafts Finishes
  • Getting Published
  • Landscaping
  • Arts & Crafts Philosophy
  • Working with an Architect
  • Furniture Design & Construction
  • Arts & Crafts Tiles
  • Craftsman Homes

Conference registration is limited to 1500 people, and many collectors register several months in advance.  Most participants who wish to stay at the Grove Park Inn during the conference make their reservations a year in advance, but there are occasional cancellations closer to the event date.  There are several other lodging options for those who are not able to stay at Grove Park.

For more information or to register for the conference, contact Bruce Johnson, the conference founder and director, at  BJ1915@charter.net or (828) 628-1915.

Anniversary Gifts for Pottery Lovers

Summer is wedding season, and that means many of us will be celebrating wedding anniversaries in the coming months.  No matter what month your anniversary is, though, it’s never easy to find just the right gift.  You want something unique, but not odd.  Original, but not useless.  And, of course, it has to be romantic.

The obvious answer is flowers.  Flowers have long been the ultimate expression of love and affection.  In fact, they’ve been an anniversary icon for so long that they’ve become a little predictable…unless you think outside the box.  Flowers in a vase are nice, but flowers on a vase are even better.   

Art pottery is inspired by nature, and many of the decorative themes are floral.  Your local florist may not have a fresh supply of clematis on hand to help you celebrate your 8th wedding anniversary, but you can easily find a Roseville Pottery piece that is beautifully decorated with this versatile flower.  Or how about an iris decorated piece by Rookwood Pottery for your 25th?  From Weller’s nasturtium designs to McCoy’s white lily bud vases, there is an art pottery piece for every anniversary.

Here’s a list of traditional anniversary flowers, just in case you don’t have them memorized.

  • 1st Wedding Anniversary – Pansy
  • 2nd Wedding Anniversary – Cosmos
  • 3rd Wedding Anniversary – Fuchsia
  • 4th Wedding Anniversary – Geranium
  • 5th Wedding Anniversary – Daisy
  • 6th Wedding Anniversary – Calla Lily
  • 7th Wedding Anniversary – Jack-in-the-Pulpit
  • 8th Wedding Anniversary – Clematis
  • 9th Wedding Anniversary – Poppy
  • 10th Wedding Anniversary – Daffodil
  • 11th Wedding Anniversary – Morning Glory
  • 12th Wedding Anniversary – Peony
  • 13th Wedding Anniversary – Hollyhock
  • 14th Wedding Anniversary – Dahlia
  • 15th Wedding Anniversary – Rose
  • 20th Wedding Anniversary – Day Lily
  • 25th Wedding Anniversary – Iris
  • 28th Wedding Anniversary – Orchid
  • 30th Wedding Anniversary – Sweet Pea
  • 40th Wedding Anniversary – Nasturtium
  • 50th Wedding Anniversary – Violet

For extra brownie points, try placing an arrangement of anniversary flowers in an arts and crafts vase decorated with the same theme.   A Weller Eocean vase brimming with pansies.  A Roseville Pottery basket full of cosmos.  There’s no better way to say I Love You!

Just Art Pottery