A MEMORABLE TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE!


It was “thanks for the memories” on August 25th in Madison, as CAS Collectors gathered from far and near. Inside the spacious, brightly-decorated Redwood Room of the Howard Johnson Plaza, a fabulous, festive, party to end all parties was underway! The big event was finally here: the 2018 CAS Collectors Convention, “Ceramic Arts Studio: Decorating The Decades!”

After a day spent trolling for treasures at the WPA Show & Sale, the crowd of Convention attendees was ready for fun – and fun they found! There was a “souvenir stand”, well-stocked with art-themed novelties. . .a “CAS Trivia” game. . . “Silent Auction” tables. . .and a colorful “drifting through the decades” décor to set the mood. Our CAS Raffle again did brisk business, thanks to a magnificent quilt, created and donated by Bunny Lenburg (the lucky winner: Anita Guzik-Miller).


The annual Club Auction proceeded at a peppy pace, under the leadership of our talented auctioneers Shawn and David Slotten. Many wonderful items were on the bill, including such rarely seen pieces as a Seagull from the Indian Group. 


And, as always, there were prizes galore, bringing smiles to many faces! Among the dizzying array:


·         Door Prizes! Our beautiful “CAS Birdhouse” centerpieces were designed by Convention Coordinator Barb Bowers, with CAS figurines selected by Bunny Lenburg. Also awarded: classic movie posters from decades past. (Door prize winners: Barb Bowers, Rick Feltman, Charles Guzik-Miller, Donald-Brian Johnson, Norm Lenburg, Diane Pozniak, David Slotten, Shawn Slotten, and Fred Wilkinson)

·         “Earliest Earlybird Contest” (Two CAS Belles plus Winter Willie were awarded to drawing winner Lisa Louis).

·         Our 2018 Convention Poster, (a depiction of Comedy & Tragedy), won by Diane Pozniak.

·         The CAS Grand Prize pair, Maurice & Michelle, won by Lynn Kingman.


In addition to a surplus of souvenirs, (including artist berets and paint palette suckers and fans), each Convention attendee also took home a 2018 Commemorative – the stylish CAS Latte Mug & Coaster, designed by Lisa Louis, and emblazoned with the club logo.


Then, there were the “On Display” winners. This marked the fifteenth year for the contest, which gives club members the opportunity to creatively display their CAS pieces in themed categories. The themes change each year, and of course so do the winners. Here are the results from Convention 2018:


  • “Most Imaginative: The CAS Memorial Award” (in honor of Millie, Flossie, Martha, Rose, Helen, Gertie, Pat, & Ruth)

Winner: Rick Feltman, “Do You Know Your Dots?” (“Dots” candy pieces, CAS figurines and a guide to “decorator dot” markings combined for a clever tribute!)

  • “Funniest” (The “Reuben, Margaret, & Itzy Memorial Award”)     

(Winner: Barb Bowers, “Getting A Little Crowded Here, I’d Say—This Is Really For the Birds!”. (An ornate wire birdhouse, filled to overflowing with CAS figurines in search of a roomier space!)

  • “Best Use of Accessories (CAS or non-CAS)” (The “Sid, Karl, & Shy Memorial Award”)

Winner: Lisa Louis, “Tis The Season(s) To Have Fun”. (The CAS “4 Seasons” take center stage, accompanied by representations of the seasons of the year!)

  • “The Fabulous ‘40s: Best Use of CAS to Depict a Scene from the 1940s”

Winner: Laurie Zelnio, “1940s Music Makers”. (Song hit sheet music and record albums mix with CAS figurines to celebrate the swing era!)

  • “The Fantastic ‘50s: Best Use Of CAS to Depict a Scene from the 1950s”

Winner: Jane Wilkinson Stevens, “Big Band Tonight”. (The CAS Orchestra kids, complete with music stands, get ready to wow the crowds!)

  • “The Swingin ‘60s: Best Use of CAS to Depict a Scene from the 1960s”

Winner: Donald-Brian Johnson, “CAS Mop-Tops”. (“Panda”, “Frog”, “Saucy Squirrel”, and “Tortoise With Cane” don wigs in a tribute to the Beatles!)

  • “The Sensational ‘70s: Best Use of CAS to Depict a Scene from the 1970s”

Winner: Hank Kuhlmann, “CAS Disco Fever”. (A variety of CAS dancers, from the Colonials to the Square Dancers, show off their moves under a disco ball!)

  • “Mouse In The House: Best Tribute to our “Club Mascot”, Mr. Mouse

Winner: Mary Lamm-Feltman”, “Guess How Many Cheese Balls?” (Club mascot “Mr. Mouse” and a big jar of cheese balls make for interactive fun!)

  • “Themes Like Old Times: Display Best Depicting A Past Convention Theme”

Winner: Laurie Zelnio, “CAS Conventions Past”. (A detailed depiction of all the fun we have at CAS Conventions, complete with name tags for the figurines!)

  • “As Betty Intended: Display Best Capturing The Style and Spirit of Betty Harrington”

Winner: Lynn Kingman, “A Decorator: Creating A CAS Family Legacy”. (A fond tribute to Lynn’s Mom, Marlys Wilkinson, at the Studio, at home, and at our Conventions!)


The winner in our “Remote Photo Entry” category, for those unable to attend the Convention, was Pat Johnson  for “Afternoon Tea”.  In the photo, Pat, wearing a picture hat from a theatrical production, enjoys tea with some of her favorite CAS head vases.


And, last but certainly not least, (drum roll, please), our “BEST OF SHOW”:

“Santa’s Summer Fun”: Anita Guzik-Miller

(Anita’s exquisitely detailed  diorama featured a summertime Santa surrounded by plenty of active CAS-ers – from an “Elf” being swallowed by a shark, to an audience of “Elves” enjoying a CAS musical performance, to a “CAS Bar”, with none other than “Mr. Mouse” as bartender!) 


Several “On Display” contest categories honor these departed Ceramic Arts Studio friends: Betty Harrington, Reuben Sand, Karl Ahlen, Flossie Young Balch, Mildred “Millie” Ehle, Sid Foye, Helen Olson Gardner, Gertrude Harris, Pat Hermsdorf, Ruth Paulson, Martha Pendleton, Margaret Purucker, Itzy Sand, “Shy” Sand, and  Rose Segerson. Thanks for the memories!


All “On Display” winners received Certificates of Merit, accompanied by their very own souvenir medals — plus a “Blue Ribbon” for “Best of Show” winner Anita Guzik-Miller, who also received a souvenir Casablanca movie poster. And, Rick Feltman won the “On Display” entry drawing. His prize: a Ghostbusters poster!


As a special treat, Anita Guzik-Miller and husband Charles listed Anita’s prize-winning display (and all its figurines) in the Club Auction, with all proceeds benefiting CAS Collectors. The lucky high bidder: CAS decorator Marlys Wilkinson!


Of course, the best part of any CAS Convention is the opportunity to mingle with friends who share a common interest in Ceramic Arts Studio and its legacy. And what a thrill to talk with those who actually were a part of the Studio in its heyday! Our honored guest this year was Studio decorator, Marlys Wilkinson, who attended with her son Fred, and daughters Laurie, Lynn, and Jane. Marlys received a special certificate for her many contributions to the CAS heritage. Also honored: our quiltmaker extraordinaire, Bunny Lenburg, and Anita Guzik-Miller, for her contribution to the club. Yes, a wonderful time was had by all!


As promised, Convention 2018, “Ceramic Arts Studio: Decorating The Decades”  truly was an unforgettable moment in time! What could be better? Why, Convention 2019, of course! Make plans now to attend!