2014 SGS CONVENTION And Show:  40th Anniversary


Our 40th Anniversary Convention, In keeping with the traditional association of rubies as the 40th anniversary gemstone, featured a magnificent display of over 100 examples of Ruby, Red Opaque and red vintage and contemporary stretch glass as well as a number of member displays demonstrating how they use their stretch glass to “Celebrate” special occasions and holidays.  Check out our slide show and a summary of events by Society President Cal Hackeman below.

Auctioneer Tom Burns hosted an auction of stretch and other collectible glassware on Friday night to help us wrap up our 40th Anniversary Convention.  Visit Tom’s website to view the listing of the glass offered for sale at http://www.necga.com/TB/Fenton%20Auction%202014.pdfand the photos of the glass offered for sale at http://photos.necga.com/GalleryFilmstrip.aspx?gallery=4494248&mt=Photo&ci=42242

Tom assembled some great glass including a number of pieces of stretch glass for our auction which had standing room only.  You can view his current auctions by visiting his website at http://www.necga.com/Tom%20Burns%20Auction.html.

The SGS welcomed many of our members and lots of guests interested in iridescent stretch glass at the convention.  In addition to the exhibits, there were several seminars on topics related to stretch glass, including presentations by noted researcher and author, Dave Shetlar (American Iridescent Stretch Glass Identification and Value Guide, Collector Books, 1998).

A candlelight banquet was held on Thursday evening with Kelsey Murphy, http://studiosofheaven.com noted glass carving artist, speaking about the art of carving glass and displaying a selection of her glass which was also offered for sale.

During the convention there was an abundance of stretch glass available for sale by SGS members. The Stretch Glass Society annual convention is well known for having the largest and most diverse assortment of stretch glass offered for sale in one location, providing opportunities to purchase rare as well as common stretch glass at reasonable prices.

Red, Ruby and more red stretch glass highlights 40th Anniversary Convention, Show & Sale

by Cal Hackeman

July 23-25, 2014, was the official celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Stretch Glass Society. For three days and three nights, members and guests gathered at the Quality Inn – Marietta (OH) to make and renew friendships, buy and sell iridescent stretch glass, hear experts talk about identifying certain pieces of stretch glass and to gaze at the largest assemblage of iridescent stretch glass occurring each year.

The 40th Anniversary Celebration was particularly special as we brought together over 100 outstanding examples of red and Ruby vintage and contemporary stretch glass in our Club display.

Below is a gallery of images from the 2014 convention -- click on any photo to enlarge (story continues below gallery).

On Wednesday, July 23rd the early part of the day was devoted to setting up and unpacking hundreds of pieces of stretch glass. Members bring stretch glass to display as well as to sell in the convention showroom which was decked out in ruby decorations in honor of our 40th Anniversary. This year’s theme for member displays was to depict how stretch glass is used to “Celebrate” holidays and special events. As you will see in the photos, stretch glass is perfect for celebrating everything from patriotic holidays to Halloween as well as golden anniversaries and quiet dinners for two. By Wednesday evening, over 100 examples of Ruby, red and red opaque stretch glass were becoming the focal point in the showroom, having been arranged by manufacturer to create a stunning Club display. Diamond, Fenton, Imperial and US Glass companies were all represented in the array of red stretch glass which included both vintage and contemporary examples ranging from tiny bowls to giant comports, plates and vases. With nearly a dozen members contributing to the Club display, we were able to assemble an impressive exhibit which included an Imperial Chesterfield pitcher with 5 tumblers. Other rarities included a Fenton 3-footed ferner, pairs of Cut Ovals 8” and 10” candlesticks, a cupped Cut Ovals bowl, a triple dolphin rose bowl, a Diamond covered bon bon, unusual Fenton vases, an Imperial Chesterfield mayo with decoration, Imperial Chesterfield bowls in unusual shades of red, two examples of US Glass’ red opaque and more. Two Fenton punch bowls were presented on red stretch glass bases complete with sets of both the straight-side and flared punch cups made for the Stretch Glass Society by Ann Fenton in 2013. The contemporary and vintage stretch glass was incredibly well matched in color and iridescence and blended together almost as if there had not been a 40 year break in production.

On Wednesday evening members enjoyed an enticing array of fruit, cheese, snacks and wine during the Welcome Reception, sponsored by the Board of Directors in honor of our Founders, Charter & Life Members. A fun time was had by all as we renewed friendships, admired member displays and identified the pieces of for sale glass we each hoped to acquire during the Thursday Stampede. During the reception several members became the first lucky winners of past red SGS Souvenirs which would be given away throughout the Convention.

Thursday morning brought more members to the Showroom and a rush of activity and excitement as members lined up for the Stampede – an annual ritual during which members line up according to the number they have drawn and then charge into the showroom to purchase the stretch glass which other members are offering for sale. Dozens of purchases are made in just 30 minutes as members race from table to table to make their selections. Just as the excitement was subsiding, more red stretch glass souvenirs were given away to lucky winners.

During the early afternoon, several members talked about their displays depicting how they use stretch glass to “Celebrate.” Many guests visited during the day and several signed up to become SGS members.

As Thursday afternoon turned to evening, the Showroom became the Banquet hall. SGS member, Bob Henkel, created stunning arrangements of live flowers in red stretch glass vases for the banquet tables. Candles and other decorations were added, the lights were turned down low and we settled in for a fabulous dinner of salad, prime rib, roast turkey, pasta primavera, roasted red potatoes, carrots and all the fixings. Julie McCauley, Special Events Manager at the Quality Inn, procured a beautiful 40th anniversary cake for us. All Past Presidents in attendance, joined by current President Cal, did the honors of the ceremonial cutting, providing a “Kodak moment” for those with cameras and camera phones. The cake was as delicious as it was beautiful and was enjoyed by all as we shifted our attention from feasting on dinner to feasting our eyes on Kelsey Murphy’s splendid carved glassware. Following dinner, Kelsey shared the story of how she came to be a renowned glass carving artist and explained, complete with show and tell, how her glass is made and then carved. She presented the Stretch Glass Society with three carved pieces of red stretch glass, which auctioneer Tom Burns quickly sold to the highest bidders for the benefit of the Society.

Overnight, over 250 additional pieces of vintage and contemporary stretch and other glassware were carefully placed on tables in preparation for our Friday night auction. Many thanks to Tom Burns for securing a great selection of glassware for this auction.

On Friday morning our doors opened promptly at 10am. Over 50 anxious glass enthusiasts filled the room for Dave Shetlar’s most informative talk on identifying the makers of stretch glass plates without designs. With many plates being among the most difficult to attribute to a particular glass company, members were all ears as Dave pointed out subtle differences between seemingly similar plates and shared his years of insight and study with us. Everyone came away at least a little bit more informed and maybe a bit more confident in correctly attributing their stretch glass plates to a manufacturer.

At noon we gathered for lunch and our Annual Business Meeting and elections. The three lucky winners of the Convention raffle glass, drawn at the conclusion of the meeting, were Donna Oehman, Ramonda Schroeder and Rodger Christensen.

Later on Friday afternoon we enjoyed an enlightening discussion of the red and Ruby stretch glass in the Club Display by Dave Sheltar. Once again, Dave pointed out and shared interesting tidbits about the making and decorating of red stretch glass, highlighted unusual pieces in the display and helped all of us to appreciate the once in a lifetime opportunity we were having to see well over 100 examples of vintage and contemporary red stretch glass in one place at one time. As you will see from the photos, it was stunning!

The live auction, with auctioneer Tom Burns, was great fun and very successful. It was a fitting conclusion to our 40th Anniversary Celebration and provided us with one more opportunity to acquire one or more special pieces of glassware for our collections.

Everyone at the Convention seems to agree that it was a fitting celebration of 40 years of study, promotion and, most importantly, building relationships among collectors and stretch glass enthusiasts. We hope you will be able to join us for Convention 2015 on July 22-24, 2015 once again in Marietta, OH.