December 24, 2009
Belleek Newslettre (# 13.3)
** POTTERY UPDATES !!
REMEMBER, 2010 brings to our Society a
concept, where, as of January 1,
2010, NO MEMBERSHIP
DUES will be accessed in the future !! This is a
positive attempt to attract new members, whom are
visiting our BCIS
Site but not joining our fine
Although, there will no longer
be ‘a yearly
membership renewal item’, there will
Limited Edition items, available ONLY to Society
This will be in addition to special
offers to members ONLY !!
** UPCOMING CONVENTION NEWS !!
SAVE THE DATE FOR BCIS 2011
CONVENTION - CHICAGO,
SEPTEMBER 15-18, 2011
Chicago lost the Olympic bid but we
gained the next
BCIS convention! Please join us
for a fun filled
convention where we talk about,
shop for, auction off ,
and share information
regarding our favorite obsession,
The Windy City Chapter is very excited
to host the
next convention and is very busy
with the plans.
Look for more information next
year regarding the
convention registration and
hotel information, in
the spring issue.
** I LOVE TO FLY ??
A man couldn't find his luggage at the airport
baggage area. So he went
to the lost luggage
office and told the woman there that his bags
She smiled and told him not to worry because she was
trained professional and he was in good hands.
"Now," she asked him,
"Has your plane arrived yet?"...
** ATLANTIQUE CITY LIVES !!
JMK Shows to launch new Atlantic City Antiques and
Collectors Show !!
MAJOR NEWS UPDATE !!
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – JMK Shows will produce a new
and collectors" event in the Atlantic City
Convention Center March
27-28, 2010. The show fills
the void created by F+W Media's September
it was canceling the long running Atlantique City
& Collectibles Show. (Antique Trader is
published by F+W
The new event will be called the Atlantic City
Antiques and Collectors
Show. The two-day event
will combine all the genres of antiques and
collectibles in one location yet they will be
separated within the
venue. Antique furniture and
furnishings in one area, toys and ephemera
vintage clothing will have its own designated section,
will fine art and dolls, etc.
“I am honored and welcome the opportunity to create,
re-invent and re-brand an event of this caliber in
City,” JMK Shows manager Allison Kohler said
in a news
JMK Shows runs a variety of antiques and home décor
shows. Their antiques shows include the Morristown
Armory Antique Show
and the Birchwood Manor Antiques
Show. The firm also manages a variety
of doll and
collectibles shows such as The Doll Show at Faileigh
Dickinson University in Hackensack, N.J. and the
Holiday Antiques Show & Sale.
More information about the event is available at the
JMK Web Site at
or by calling
** PONDER ??
"What's another word for Thesaurus?"
** ZIPPY PINS !!
On the lookout for some VERY special ‘pins’ for
collectors group ??
Try Zippy Pins located on the
Internet at : http://www.zippypins.com
Zippy Pins currently has TWELVE (12) different styles
of Belleek pins
in, what I believe, four (4) different
sizes !! They also produce the
key chains !! Additionally, they produce 2 sizes of
pulls and have JUST introduced a 2¼” little
Other than Belleek items, they have hundreds of other
represented as well as scads of
miscellaneous designs !! In fact, you
may even create
your OWN design !!
Following receipt of my order, I received the
following from Zippy
Pin’s Creator : “My sincere
thanks for your order
and VERY KIND words about my
new Web Site and my pins. Creating
our Web Site :
has been a labor of love for
my daughter and
me. Our goal for the site was to give
niche collectors/hobbyists a way
to share and
celebrate their interests. It's wonderful to see how
JOY they've already brought to you.
“Through a small presence on eBay we've been able to
with a number of individual Belleek enthusiasts
as well as Chapters. In
fact, an assortment of 250 pins
were distributed at the 2009 Belleek
Convention held in New Jersey this past April. Now
our new website and expanded size and product offerings,
even better able to serve the needs of all
“Should you ever need a large quantity (50+) of any of
Belleek designs or even your own CUSTOM DESIGN
(logo, picture, text,
etc.), please visit this link
bulk/wholesale discount pricing.”
I offered her exposure in my upcoming Newslettre and
she responded with
: “We're so excited to finally have
our Site launched and
would be delighted to be
mentioned in your upcoming newslettre. In your
sure to include the following coupon code: ZP10101
your readers can enjoy a 10% discount on
(they'll need to enter the code during
** OUR KING !!
"Knavery seems to be so much the striking feature of
that it may not in the end be an evil
that they will become aliens to
George III (1738 - 1820), on America
** SEASONAL EXCITEMENT !!
But maybe a wee bit early ?? As this was going to be
‘treating’ Halloween, my lovely
begin asking him what
he wanted to be
as he enjoyed his primary experience of this pagan
celebration !! So, like 30 out of 32 times he
‘Santa Clause’ ?? Undaunted,
mommie went out
shopping for a small
bolt of red
flannel and some fuzzy white trim !! She then sat
with her sewing machine and crafted up this
little Santa suit !! So, here we
see Santa Lincoln !!
is perplexed as
he can’t seem to
locate his boots ??
IF you’re wondering what he selected the ‘other
he thought it would be neat to be Darth Vader
of Star Wars Fame !!
Eryn anticipated this and was
ready for a late visit to Target
and pick up a Darth Vader Helmet and create
In any case, Santa remained his favourite and he
his time spent out treating his
neighborhood !! His ULTIMATE
‘score’ was a carton of
chocolate milk !!
Additional seasonal reading you may be interested in
is the festival of
Samhain, celebrated by the Celts of
modern-day Ireland and the UK !!
Originating two and a
half millennia ago, the isle natives braced
for winter with this festival, which is pronounced
literally meaning "summer's end" and falling
on November 1 !! It
heralds the beginning of the dark,
cold half of the year !!
And of course, there’s the history of the Jack-o'-
Originally a turnip, this carved vegetable
with a candle inside was
used by a poor Irish soul
named Jack to light his way as he wandered
eternity, denied entrance to both Heaven and Hell —
Heaven because of his habitual stinginess and Hell
because he had,
while still alive, forced the devil
into a pact that would spare Jack
from ever going to
Hell !! Boy, did he live (or rather die) to regret
it !! The Irish brought this custom to the US in the
but found it more convenient to use pumpkins
than their traditional
turnip, rutabaga or gourd !!
** PIZZA !!
"Employees at a pizzeria in Ireland were fired for
watching porn on the
job. Isn't that disgusting?
Irish people trying to make pizza?"
** UKRAINIAN CHRISTMAS
Since this is our Holiday Season, I felt it
to expound on a beautiful Ukrainian
Christmas legend !!
Their wonderful story has been
recorded as :
“One family in the village was too poor to have a
tree in their house. Thee mother
had hung a few meager nuts and
fruits on a small tree
outside their door in hopes of bringing a little
cheer to her children’s Christmas Day.
“On Christmas Eve the spiders heard her prayers and
webs over the tree. As the sun came up, its
rays glittered and
sparkled on the dew on the webs and
turned them to silver and
we have a precious view of their branch
the web spun by the spiders (in porcelain) !!
This absolutely marvelous structured facsimile is
not, as you might
speculate, produced by the Belleek
Pottery, BUT is in fact sculptured
by some of their
skilled craft persons, whom upon their departure from
Belleek, formed the Melvin Craft Pottery !!
The remaining information gathered for my article is
provided by a retired Pottery worker whom
is also an old friend of
mine, one you may also be
acquainted with, Sean O’Loughlin !!
Editors Note : Sean O’Loughlin succeeded Tommy
his retirement in 1978, as Belleek
Pottery Manager. Sean came to the
with an in-depth knowledge of all phases of pottery
operation, and with a particular talent for teaching
well as an inordinate skill in
correcting problems inherent in Parian
Richard K. Degenhardt, Belleek, The Complete
Collector’s Guide and Illustrated Reference, Second
At the time Melvin Craft was formulating, Sean’s
the Belleek Pottery was that of Technical
Manager and previous to that
he was their Production
Manager. In both of these roles he played a
part in new designs and in the re-introduction of
i.e., designs that had not been in
production for over 50 years.
In accumulating this fascinating story, Sean was at
harried, in that the principles, of Melvin
Craft, and himself were at
opposite ends of the
United Kingdom, although the Melvin Craft Pottery
about five (5) miles from his residence !!
They finally met and Sean got to talking with Tony
Keown, owner of
Melvin Craft Pottery. Tony told him
that Melvin Craft Pottery was
founded in 1984 by Tony
and his wife, Margaret. They specialize in
Jewelry such as ear rings, stick pins, Brooches and
baskets. Their quality is of a very high
standard at a competitive
Tony Keown had a very long and respected tenure at
the Belleek Pottery
!! He worked for over 25 years
in the basket making and flowering
department and was
one of the most skilled craft persons in the Belleek
Pottery. Unfortunately, he was one of many skilled
employees who left
or was allowed to leave much to
the detriment of The Belleek Pottery.
Upon departing Belleek, Tony & his wife Margaret and
,his Son Martin formed Melvin Craft. They
also trained an apprentice,
Declan Ferguson who
eventually left to go on to other employment, after
a few years.
Originally, Melvin Craft was located just (South)
across the bridge at
Belleek in the Republic of
Ireland. In fact, if one ventured up to the
floor of the Belleek Pottery, you could see the
Melvin Craft flag
flying over their shop !! They
then moved to Garrison, County
about 5 miles from Belleek, about 1988 to a purpose
Pottery, where they remain to this day.
Currently, Tony Keown lives near Lough Melvin, hence
the name Melvin
Craft. Lough Melvin is one of the most
beautiful lakes in Ireland and
Tony often takes his
dog for a walk on the shores of the lake.
One day, while out walking, Tony noticed a spider and
its web on the
branch of a hawthorn tree and this
inspired him to make a spider's web
based on what he
He carried out some intricate research on spiders and
came up with a
design for a spider. In many experts
opinion the Melvin Craft spider's
web is of a very
authentic design !!
Here we have a
view of Tony’s MARVELOUS Spider !!
If you’re interested, here’s a Link to Melvin
Web Site :
I wish ALL Belleekers the utmost joy and peace during
Season and my sincerest wishes for a
prosperous New Year !!
SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION !!
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bit, it's MOST probably due to a
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Del E. Domke, Belleek Consultant
16142 N.E. 15th. Street
Telephone : 1 (425) 746-6363
Message : 1 (425)
1 (425) 746-6363
Web-site : The
Beauty and Romance of Irish Belleek