This past month has been a whirlwind of changes and good things for ceramics collectors.
The biggest news of the decade- of a lifetime- is that John Renaker's personal collection and his HR archives are being dispersed by his estate. The auctions have started, and they cycle each Sunday to Sunday. Check them out!
Without a doubt, many, many things from these auctions will be great subjects for future articles. I hope everyone who loves HR wins something to hold close to their hearts, as a piece from the archives.
In December, I received the news that Sue Nikas gave her blessing for Ed Alcorn and I to revive the Hagen-Renaker Collectors Club. It has been hibernating since 2008. Ed is the dealer side of the club leadership, and I am handling the club organization and newsletter. In the past, an HR dealer did all tasks; that's pretty amazing, when you think about what that entails!
Those members still owed back issues from the previous club incarnation are invited to locate their proof of payment: scan of cancelled check, credit card invoice, or PayPal receipt. The new club offers to honor outstanding memberships, but I need to see the date and payment form clearly to accept the credit. Thus, membership will be available at US$24/year, the former club fee. We did not raise the price, keeping it affordable. International subscribers will receive shipping due notices, calculated for their individual destinations, before their annuals are shipped.
The club used to publish a paper newsletter, four times a year. We know that keeping prices affordable and still providing lots of issues is a challenge with paper printing. A blend of both online and paper publishing is planned for our first year: six online, members-only issues per year, and a softbound paper annual, the highlights and major articles, printed and mailed at the end of the year. This may be altered or expanded for 2016, if it proves successful. The two frequent requests, "more issues" and "something to look forward to in the mail", are answered by this program.
In addition to an array of articles and original new photos, there will be in-depth coverage of the HR archives and John Renaker collection dispersal, with wonderful, new photos.
Currently, the new online platform for the club is being built and tested. I had everything set up on a different site in early January, but it was found (through some very specific keyword searches) that it could not support the membership numbers we anticipate. In fact, we are avoiding a few bugs by moving away from that platform. Happily, transferring the files should not be a problem. I was so very glad that this all was sorted before any membership fees have been accepted. It pays to double-check, and triple-check!
The URL, for those who would like to bookmark in advance:
The club bank account and PayPal account are fully functional, I'm just waiting for the final green light for the membership site.
The site you are reading now, Muddy Hoofprints, will continue to cover the broad range of non-HR ceramic animals. A foray into Euro Porcelain subjects is planned, too. As we've seen, there are still mysteries to be found. The MH archives remain in place on the blog, including the HR subjects. The experimental post frequency of 2014 (almost every Monday) will be reduced in 2015. MH will return to a single feature post every month or two, as in previous years.
Thank you for reading, and Happy New Year!