Wednesday, July 22, 2015, was a busy day at the Quality Inn – Marietta, Ohio for the nearly 50 Stretch Glass Society members who arrived for the 2015 SGS Convention.  Early in the day members worked to set up the convention ball room.  As noon approached, members began arriving with hundreds of pieces of iridescent stretch glass – both vintage and contemporary.  By late afternoon 10 members had filled their display tables with stretch glass ranging from Imperial stretch glass with wheel cuttings to lemonade and other pitchers & tumble-ups to decorated stretch glass to Northwood Jade Blue stretch glass and more!  Two members displayed their collection of Fenton’s Topaz Curtain Optic vases, pitchers and tumblers.  Check out the photos to see the 2015 member display tables for yourself.  

Setting Up

Wednesday’s activities concluded with a fun Welcome Reception hosted by Stephanie Bennet complete with wine, cheese and a variety of desserts. 

Thursday morning at 9:15am, SGS members lined up to ‘stampede’ into the convention room to make their initial purchases of stretch glass offered for sale by other members.  Dozens of pieces of stretch glass exchanged hands in less than 30 minutes with the excitement continuing on well after the initial buying and selling frenzy.  By 11am members were presenting their displays of stretch glass, explaining how they selected their “selection of similar stretch glass”.

As afternoon became early evening, SGS member and Imperial researcher, Gary Senkar, with assistance from his wife, Cheryl and others, assembled the largest and most dramatic exhibit of Imperial Jewels stretch glass ever presented in one location.  By Thursday afternoon, after contributions by several SGS members, the Imperial Jewels display would include more than 135 examples of this extraordinary vintage glassware produced initially ca. 1916.  The presentation of Imperials Jewels includes numerous rare pieces including a number of items not included in any known Imperial catalog from the period.  Everyone was in awe over the colors and shapes of the Imperial Jewels on display, as you will be from the photos.

 Imperial Jewels

Ready for the Stampede


Friday, July 24, 2015, was another busy day at the 2015 Stretch Glass Society (SGS) Convention.  In the morning noted author and researcher, Dave Shetlar, talked with us about Terminology and Techniques used during the Stretch glass era.  His talk was educational and eye-opening as he described and showed videos of iridescent stretch glass being made at the Fenton Art Glass factory.

Following Dave’s seminar we assembled for a delicious lunch for SGS members hosted by Ken and Ellen Stohler.  Lunch was followed by our annual business meeting during which Officers and Directors reported on accomplishments during the past year and goals and objectives for the coming year.  Among the highlights reported were welcoming more than 20 new members from 14 states to the SGS during the past 12 months, several of whom were in attendance at the convention.   Several Directors reported on successful activities during the past year ranging from promoting the SGS via SGS souvenir glass sales on eBay to outreach to depression era and carnival glass clubs to the SGS-sponsored “Stretch Out” virtual discussions.  Treasurer Jim Steinbach’s financial report provided members with information on our solid financial position and cash balances as well as the revenues and expenses during our most recent fiscal year which ended on April 30, 2015. 

President Cal Hackeman updated members on overall accomplishments during 2014-15, the key actions we will be undertaking in 2015-16 as well as the Action Teams responsible for successfully accomplishing those actions.

At the conclusion of the Annual Membership Meeting three winning raffle tickets were drawn and the convention raffle prizes were presented to the lucky winners. 

With the ‘business’ of the convention complete, everyone turned their attention to Gary Senkar’s presentation of “Insights into Imperial Jewels” and the discussion of the breath-taking SGS ‘club’ display featuring examples of Imperial Jewels stretch glass from several members’ collections.

After a relaxing afternoon, nearly all members attending convention assembled for a delicious banquet dinner complete with carved prime rib and tasty desserts.  Following dinner, more than a dozen members shared examples of and discussed their other collections and hobbies ranging from marbles to Indian artifacts to sports cards to curling buttons to roosters, santa clauses, Bakelite flatware, bugs, water pitchers, Greentown and Hanging Hearts glassware, painting, Christmas plates, ancestry research, to slot car racing, hand-painted Buffalo pottery and Early American Pressed Glass.  The variety of hobbies and collections also pursued by SGS members left everyone in amazement of the varied interests of stretch glass collectors. 

Member Displays

Finally, at 6pm Auctioneer Tom Burns hammered the crowd to order and began selling over 250 lots of spectacular stretch and Fenton glassware, much of which was the highly collectible and sought after Fenton “dolphins.”