VOLUME 8, NUMBER 2 - MAY, 2008
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Last year when I was writing about the Gingerbread House and Gingerbread Man ornament, I gave credit to Jim Waite for the idea. The Convention this June will be the first anniversary of the last time many of us saw Jim. When contemplating a subject for this year’s Christmas piece I thought it would be appropriate to continue the gingerbread theme. As a result, this year’s piece is a gingerbread church and a gingerbread angel ornament. I thought this subject fitting in a number of ways for this year.
When working on the gingerbread pieces I find there is a different type of challenge with regard to the creation of the piece. Usually, when working on a building, I try to put as much detail into the design as I can. However, with the gingerbread buildings and ornaments, I try to sculpt them with the idea that they were created either at home or at school by children with a bit of help from adults. As a result, when I am tempted to carve pains of glass into the windows as would have been appropriate with the church , I have to remind myself that the building was not made by a chef from a four star restaurant who makes a living carving intricate ice sculptures etc., but by school children. With this reminder I resist the temptation to complicate the design. This is an interesting exercise and one that requires a fair amount of restraint on my part.
Following this philosophy I try to add color to the piece by using the type of bright candy to which a child might have access. Last year, as I was preparing to start the first piece, I made a trip to the candy isle at the local market and forced myself to buy several bags of candy for inspiration. Much of what I bought made its way onto the piece. However, once the piece was finished, there was nothing else to do but to consume my research material. I can honestly say that I have never enjoyed digesting my research material as much as I did with the gingerbread house. There have been research expeditions that have been more exciting, but none that have tasted better. This has now started the wheels turning and I am trying to recollect the most exciting research I have done for a new piece. There was the time I was researching a covered bridge and I went to Conway, NH to photograph a famous covered bridge up there for inspiration. It was the winter and there was a lot of snow on the ground, I decided this was an advantage as it would allow me to venture out on the frozen river to shoot the bridge from underneath. The snow was deeper than I had anticipated and for a moment I got stuck in a snow drift while keeping my camera high and dry. I extricated myself but my Bean boots were too short for the task and they filled up with snow. I am still wearing the super tall Bean boots I bought as replacements. Then there was the time I was researching the Nobska Light and the customer took us out in his power boat to shoot the light from the sea. This was fun because as you know I feel that any time one can get out on the water is a good time. When we finished our work it was time for lunch. Our host knew the owner of The Black Dog Café in Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard so we set off for the island, tied up to the dock next the restaurant, went inside and had a terrific meal.
The Gingerbread Angel (above)
along with the Gingerbread Church
Although the Gingerbread
Church, because of its steeple, is taller
However, the one research junket I remember as the most difficult to surpass for shear impressiveness was the time I met a customer in New Hampshire for a trip to Maine to photograph lighthouses. We met at a civil aviation airport just across the Massachusetts border where we boarded a small single engine airplane. We took off for the coast of Maine. It was one of those days where there was not a cloud in the sky. We flew along the Maine coast at about three thousand feet until we reached Deer Island where we landed on a small dirt air strip. Upon landing we were met by a co-sponsor on the project who drove us a short distance to a small harbor where he kept his powerboat. With box lunches on board we took off to an island owned by the co-sponsor’s family where we dined. After lunch we cruised around the area photographing the many light houses in that picturesque part of the world. When we finished we returned to the landing strip for the flight home. All-in-all the trip to Maine has to be about the best research I have ever done.
The Gingerbread Church and the Gingerbread Angel Ornament will be introduced at the Convention. The pieces will also be available through the newsletter. To get a first day of issue piece, join us at the Convention. If you can’t make it to the Convention, use the enclosed order form and we will glad to send you one.
THE 250th MASONIC BIBLE
By Woody Baston
Each of you has become involved with Sebastians for different reasons and this includes the two artists who have created Sebastian Miniatures. All of you know the story about how my father started the line with the Shaker Man and Lady. Therefore it must be said that one of the motivating factors in the conception of the line was the need to put bread on the table during the waning days of the Depression. That being said, the subject matter my father chose to sculpt leaned heavily to historical and literary themes. I can still hear my father talk about how he envisioned characters as he read, and he was a voracious reader so there was a lot going on as he read. Another of his passions was history. He lived on the North Shore of Boston and when vanity plates first came out he signed up for one that read ESSEX. Marblehead is located in Essex County. There was a sign on RT 128 (this is the road that a lot of you call I 95) that announced that you were entering Essex County. Every time we passed the entering Essex County sign while returning home my father would tip his hat. It is true that over the years my father designed and produced many commercial pieces, but all things being equal he loved his historical and literary pieces. What he liked about the commercial pieces was the fact that they paid the bills.
At some point in our lives we all have that frightening experience when we look quickly in the mirror or when we say something that we realize we are becoming like our parents, clones of our fathers or our mothers. So it was with me. Over the years a lot of my work has been to satisfy needs in the marked place. I have not had the opportunity to work on as many pieces as my father did just because I wanted to. In part this was due to the fact that my father had already done so many different subjects there was not a lot left to sculpt and in part it had to do with the demands of the market place. You may remember that the George Washington at Trenton Heights was one of the first pieces I did because I felt led to sculpt it. In a less academic way than my father, I am also interested in history. Therefore the history of the Masonic Bible is very interesting to me.
In 1960 my father designed a piece to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Masonic Lodge in Marblehead. The piece should be familiar to all of you as it was catapulted to prominence in the world of Sebastians when one auctioned for $1,600.00 in the early 80’s during that period of time when high prices were not uncommon. The piece was an open bible on a reading stand with a symbolic compasses and square resting on the Bible. When an institution hangs on long enough, in this case Sebastian Miniatures, events tend to cycle through again. Therefore, it was interesting when I received a call a couple of months ago asking if I could make an updated version of the Marblehead Masonic Bible for the 250th celebration that will take place in 2010. This is now the second time this has happened. There was the candy maker I did for NECCO in 1997. After some preliminary discussions with my contact at the Marblehead Lodge, it was decided to meet with the whole committee one evening in March. Prior to the meeting, Margery and I had taken a trip to the cold storage facility where my father’s estate has all of his original designs stored. You will remember the cold storage facility from the “Father Time” picture Margery took of me holding a lantern. The picture was included with an article in the newsletter a year or so ago. To be honest we are glad to have a reason to visit the storage facility from time to time as many of the cardboard boxes holding my father’s original pieces are showing the effects of time and gravity and need to be replaced with plastic containers from Home Depot. We usually work on three or four boxes a trip and hope to have all of the dilapidated boxes replaced before the Marblehead Lodge has its 300th anniversary. This visit we replaced and relabeled three boxes but were unable to find the original of the Masonic Bible. This is not the first time this happened. This is not to say the piece was not there but just to say we couldn’t find it. On the way home I was a bit concerned as it was important to find the original piece as it would make my job a lot easier and by so doing save the Lodge some money because I would not have to sculpt a second piece from scratch. After pondering a return trip to the storage facility, I remembered that my father had made some castings of the Bible with no lettering. My father made these blank pieces so that he could easily customize the piece for other lodges. I went to the list of the white castings that were removed from the Marblehead studio and was delighted to find that there were a couple of castings listed in one of the boxes. I then proceeded to the other storage area and within a few minutes I found that for which I thought I was looking.
Armed with the blank casting, I set off to meet with the Masonic committee in Marblehead. The meeting was very enjoyable. First, the meeting was in Marblehead and second, a couple of the members of the committee remembered my father and the good old days of Sebastian Miniatures. We had a great rime talking and reminiscing about the way it used to be. I had penciled the lengthy text needed for the piece onto the blank casting and I needed the committee to approve the layout. Should you come across one of the new pieces you might note the uniq;e spelling of one of the words on the back of the piece. If you are or were an English teacher you might have noticed the way I spelled compass earlier in the article, I spelled it compasses. The unusual spelling was the way I was instructed to spell the word, not one of my creative spellings. However, it is not the usual spelling of the devise used to measure distances on a nautical chart, unless you come from England. Why should an English spelling have any bearing on the spelling for a piece made for the Marblehead Lodge in the U.S.A.? The reason is very interesting, the square and compass/compasses the Marblehead Lodge uses were captured by the Master and Commander of the privateer “Franklin”, Lt. James Mugford. Lt. Mugford was a Marblehead skipper and the instruments he captured from a British vessel in 1776, eventually found their way to the Marblehead Lodge. Therefore, when some English naval officers were in town a few years back, they assured the members of the Lodge the correct spelling for compass was compasses. There was some discussion at the meeting and one of the members went upstairs and brought down one of my father’s original pieces. This didn’t help much as the original piece identified the instrument as a compass. After some more discussion, I was delighted the committee decided to use the English spelling for two reasons. First, the practical reason was that now I did not have to re-space the lettering on the line that contained the word compasses. Second, and more pleasing was this was an “I got ya” moment. My father was a marvelous speller and from my many misadventures with spelling it is obvious I am not. Therefore to be more correct with a spelling of a word than my father, after all of these years, is still fun.
the spelling settled, we were about to wrap up our business
until I looked at the Bible I had brought with me and the Bible
the Lodge had produced, the square and compasses were different
and they were placed in a different spot on the bible. It
dawned on me that the square and compasses on the Marblehead
Bible were the ones taken from the “HMS Hope” and the square and
compass on the Bible I had brought with me were generic for use
with other Lodges that were not so fortunate as to have a set
captured from an English vessel. Until that moment I don’t
think I had been aware that there were two versions of the
Bible. The reason for two versions made a lot of sense, but I
was ignorant of this fact; touché the maestro had just evened up
the score. To insure the instruments were indeed different, one
of the fellows went upstairs and came back with the real
compasses and square from the “Hope”. The course of action was
now obvious, I needed to remove the generic instruments and
replace them with the ones from the “Hope” while at the same
time relocating them off to the right. I was allowed to trace
the compasses and square to insure an authentic rendering of
them. Over the years I have remained fairly placid in the face
of some extraordinary circumstances; however, it was a real
honor to handle the actual instruments taken off a captured
English ship in 1776.
With all of the details settled, the conversation shifted to a discussion of Lt. Mugford and his battle with the “Hope”. The instruments took a convoluted trail from the “Hope” to the Marblehead Lodge and I am afraid I did not follow it well enough to relate it here. However, the story got my attention and I spent some time on the internet researching the history of the action between the “Franklin” and the “Hope” as well as another action that took place a couple of days later. Here is what I found on the Blue Water web-site. Lt. James Mugford was the Master and Commander of the American vessel “USS Franklin”. On May 17, 1776 at Nantasket Roads, Massachusetts the “USS Franklin” captured the British supply ship “HMS Hope”. The “Hope” was carrying 75 tons of gun power as well as entrenching tools and blankets. With his newly captured prize Mugford ran the British blockade and tied up to the wharf in Boston, Nantasket Roads not being far from Boston Harbor. Needless to say the Royal Navy was not happy. Two days later, Mugford on the “Franklin” in company with a smaller privateer “Lady Washington” put to sea and continued to harass the British. Late in the day, on an ebbing tide, the “Franklin” ran aground lodging her bow in the mud dangerously close to the British station off Boston. Anticipating an attack by the British, Mugford on the “Franklin” and Captain Cunningham on the “Lady Washington” prepared for an attack. Cunningham anchored his ship off the stern of the “Franklin”. That evening between 9:00 PM and 10:00 PM a number of small boats approached the two American vessels. The approaching boats pretended to be Americans from Boston, but they did not fool the crews on “Franklin” and “Lady Washington”. Mugford and his crew of 21 were the first to fire with Mugford getting off the first shot with his pistol. By this time Mugford was able to swing the “Franklin to bring her guns to bear on the approaching British sailors and marines. The attackers were estimated to be about 200 men in a dozen or so boats. A ferocious fight ensued and the Americans were successful in their defense. Many attackers were killed with the loss of only one American, Mugford. Lt. Mugford was killed by a thrust from a boarding pike. The manner in which Mugford was killed proved he was leading from the front. The “Lady Washington” fared just as well. With her crew of only seven seamen she defended herself from an estimated 100 British sailors and marines in five boats. Mugford was the only skipper under the command of George Washington to die in his service. The entire Marblehead regiment returned home to honor Mugford at his burial. To this day there is still a Mugford Street in Marblehead.
Now the meeting wandered a bit and the conversation shifted to a discussion of the “USS Constitution” and the War of 1812 At this point it might be appropriate to mentioned that George Washington commented during a visit to Marblehead that he liked the town for its antiquity. History has always been important to the folks in Marblehead partly because the town was involved in a lot of it. The folks in Marblehead are very proud of the fact that in 1814 the “USS Constitution” came in under the protection of the guns at Fort Sewall, a small earthen work fort guarding the mouth to the harbor. The Town of Marblehead’s web-site gives this description of the incident:
“Of the 42 battles the “Constitution” fought and won, the one which took place on April 3rd, 1814 is particularly meaningful to those of us on the North Shore. Once again, the “Constitution” was the victim of a light breeze which fell to a dead calm just as two 38-gun British frigates approached. The ship was trapped against the rocky North Shore of Massachusetts, with no sea escape possible. The only negotiable harbor available to the “Constitution” was that of Marblehead. So Captain Charles Stewart took a chance, ordered all dispensable goods jettisoned (including fresh water and spirits), and sought refuge in the little harbor. The guns of Fort Sewall protected the “Constitution” as the militia from nearby coastal towns rallied to her defense. The British were discouraged, decided not to further test her impressive military defense, and sailed away”.
As the discussion continued some very interesting facts emerged. It seemed the “Constitution” was carrying a couple of skippers from Marblehead. It was thought that the Marblehead skippers may have been on board as a result of an action with a British vessel. Many times captured American sailors who were on board British vessels, as the results of earlier actions, were liberated when an American vessel captured the British vessel. For whatever reason the Marblehead skippers were on board, they were very valuable as they knew how to navigate the tricky waters around the entrance of Marblehead Harbor. As the “Constitution” sailed into the harbor a cannon from Fort Sewall fired a shot in the direction of the British frigates to let them know they would have to take on land based cannon. Naval vessels are leery to come within the range of land based cannon as they tend to be larger than their guns and they are not firing from a moving platform so their accuracy tends to be better. As a result the British frigates decided not to challenge the guns of the fort. Here is where the story gets interesting. All of the above was folklore that every school child in Marblehead knew, what we and I did not know was that the shot the fort fired at the British was the only one they had. Had the captains on the British frigates been aware of this, they might have chosen a different course of action. It is interesting conversations like this one that make Marblehead such a fascinating place.
The conversation then shifted to the visit the “Constitution” made to Marblehead in 1997. There were a number of interesting stories as some of those at the meeting were intimately involved with the visit, but I will relate only one amusing anecdote. It was a big deal for the “Constitution” to leave its berth in Boston Harbor except for the annual turn around cruise. The turn around cruise is done to insure the masts do not take a set as a result of the prevailing south west winds. One year the vessel is facing in, the next year it is facing out. However, in 1997 the new Captain of the “Constitution thought that, if the ship was sound, he would take her for a sail. The ship was found to be up to the task with some minor shoring up and a new suit of sails. Therefore, in the summer of 1997 the “Constitution was towed to Marblehead for the weekend. During her stay in Marblehead she was towed out into the bay and she went for a short sail. It was an eventful day and we were in the fleet of hundreds if not thousands of spectator boats. Here is the anecdote. This was such a big deal that a number of dignitaries decided to descend on Marblehead. It was rumored that President Clinton might make an appearance. As a result the town was told to weld shut all the manhole covers in town. In addition snipers were positioned on the lighthouse and probably in other locations and navy seals were in the water under the “Constitution”. The seals proved helpful when one of the tugboats attending the “Constitution” wrapped a tow line around its propeller and came to a stop. The navy said “no problem” and sent a seal over to free up the propeller. This may have been the first time it was known that seals were in the water. Now back to the possible presidential visit. The reason the presidential visit was tentative had to do with a clash of egos. At this time Governor Weld had resigned and was looking to be appointed ambassador to Mexico. The President was not an enthusiastic supporter of this idea. So when the President learned that Governor Weld might show up, he was reluctant to make an appearance. Similarly, Governor Weld didn’t want to share the stage with the President. As a result neither came. However, everything was ready to include a landing site for the presidential helicopters. The word had not gotten out to the town officials that the President and the Governor would not be showing up, so when one of the cameramen in one of the helicopters covering the event ran out of film and the helicopter landed in the designated landing zone to allow the photographer to look for some more film, this action set in motion a lot of activity until the real nature of the landing was determined. Today townsfolk look back at the incident and laugh, but at the time it was serious business. As ones who were there, Margery and I can attest to the fact that it was a day to remember even if the President or the Governor didn’t make the trip.
Now back to the Masonic Bible. The 250th anniversary piece will differ from the 200th anniversary piece in a few subtle ways. First, the piece will not be cast in ceramastone but in the current resin based material. Therefore, the blue paint applied to the base will be more consistent and darker than on the original. As a result of the uniform application of the blue paint, I felt the black paint used on the cover of the Bible didn’t stand out the way it should. To present a different option, I painted a second sample on which I used a burgundy paint on the cover of the Bible. To my eye it brought the piece to life. The original piece highlighted, with an antiquing process, only the lettering on the front of the base. The story on the back of the piece was left un-antiqued. Again with the uniform application of the blue paint, I felt I had the opportunity to strengthen the lettering on the back by using the same white antiquing I used with the lettering on the front of the piece. Therefore, on the second sample I antiqued all of the lettering. I felt the second sample was a much more attractive piece. However, it was not my decision to make so I brought the two pieces with me to a meeting of the full Lodge. At this meeting I was asked to address the Lodge members after a wonderful dinner. The purpose of my brief talk was to give younger members who did not remember Sebastians a brief history of the line and to tie it into the history of Marblehead. I also used the occasion to show the members the two versions and to allow them to make the decision as to which sample they liked. I was pleased when everyone chose the second version. The Marblehead Lodge has ordered a few hundred of the Masonic Bibles. Therefore, they are being made overseas. They will not be ready until the fall. However, I have arranged to have some available through the fall newsletter. A sample will be on display at the Convention. Stop by and see it.
By Woody Baston
Over the past decade or so it has been a spring tradition to start work on a new piece for the Eastern Star. As I am writing this article I have already started the piece for next year, but that story will be told next spring. The Stargazers piece that was introduced in March got off to a very early start. The prospective Worthy Grand Matrons (WGM) know a few years in advance the year they will be in office. Frequently I have the opportunity to meet the next WGM during the introduction of the piece for the current year. However, a couple of years ago I met this year’s WGM. This prospective WGM was so enthusiastic to get started that she was ready to go two years before the piece was to be introduced. After a congenial discussion we decided that there would be plenty of time if we were to wait until the spring of 2007. However, right on the agreed date I received a call and we set up an appointment to discuss the theme for the piece that was just introduced. Each WGM has a Worthy Grand Patron (WGP) to help her with her many duties. The custom has been that the WGM and the WGP each have a cause they would like to commemorate in the piece.
From the past, you know these themes can differ quite a bit from one another and as a result they have presented some interesting design opportunities. My favorite example of the challenging design requests on which we work, was the year that I was asked to include a steam engine coming out of a tunnel in a mountain located by the ocean which would allow for a lighthouse, a jumping dolphin, and a clipper ship. The Stargazers piece was not as demanding, but it did have a number of interesting elements that needed to be included in the piece. The first element was that the backdrop for the piece would be a seashell. The seashell would be standing upright on a sandy beach. On the beach there would be footprints in the sand, a star fish, and a sand dollar. Within the shell there would be a seascape to include the beach, the ocean, the sky with some clouds, but not too many, and the Eastern Star up in the sky supported by one of the clouds. These elements exemplified the themes the WGM wished to emphasize during her year in office. The WGP chose a Cairn Terrier for his element to be included in the piece.
Work proceeded with the piece and things proceeded relatively smoothly for a while. However, when the WGP was not able to attend some of the meetings this seemed a bit unusual. None the less the piece was finished and approved. With the approval of the WGM I delivered the original to the fellow who casts for me to have a mold and a few castings made. In a week or so I received a few castings and I was about to paint a sample for final approval when I received an emotional phone call from the WGM informing me that for health reasons the WGP had resigned. This brought everything to a halt. A new WGP needed to be selected and that process would take a few weeks. Once a new WGP had been selected he would need to select the motif he would like to have included in the piece. All of this took some time but eventually a new WGP was selected and all of us met to discuss the changes to the piece. The new WGP was involved with scouting and he chose to replace the Cairn with a fleur-de leis. With me new marching orders I set about to make the changes to the piece. I removed the terrier and after some trial and error came up with the right size for the fleur-de-leis. Actually there was a bit of serendipity involved with the placement of the fleur-de-leis. Because the fleur-de-lis was smaller than the terrier it needed to have something to support it. The solution was to enlarge the cloud that was behind the fleur-de-lis to support it while at the same time bringing it a little bit further forward. By enlarging the cloud it added depth to the piece and strengthened the design. Remember that earlier in the article I mentioned that the WGM was quick out of the gates to get work started on this piece. This extra time was very valuable, as with the extra time required for the changes, the program was still on time.
The white cast in the
foreground is the original version
The Stargazers piece was introduced in March at the Holiday Inn in Mansfield. The Holiday Inn was formerly a Sheraton Hotel and it was the location for many Sebastian Festivals in the 80’s and early 90’s. It was interesting to return to the scene of so much former Sebastian activity. We have arranged to have some of the Stargazers available for you to purchase through this newsletter. Be sure to check out the color photograph of the Stargazers on the last page of the newsletter. The edition size is 250 however only 200 pieces were initially ordered. The price for the Stargazers is $35.00. The Stargazers along with many previously introduced Eastern Star pieces will be available at the Eastern Star table at the Convention in June. Should you want to add to your Eastern Star Collection a visit to the Convention is a must. Should you not be able to make it to the Convention, Sebastianworld has some of the pieces for you to purchase.
The medallion above is the version that will
be available at the
John Scannell tells us to get ready because it is coming soon. The 3rd Sebastian Miniature Collector’s Convention will be held at the North Reading Masonic Lodge in North Reading Massachusetts. The format will remain the same as the first two Conventions, with the exception of the elimination of the Look-A-Like contest. Apparently, this event has seen its day. However, not this year because we are going to take a break from tradition. There is a little twist in the Paint-Your-Own contest. This event is limited to the first 25 contestants to sign up and this year each painter will receive a pewter Sebastian Miniature Collector’s Convention medallion. However, the winner (as determined by our expert judges) will receive a gold painted version of the pewter medallion. The entry cost is $25.00 each, but the most important thing is that 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Susan G. Koman Foundation in memory of Jim Waite.
We are expecting a larger crowd at this year’s event, and hope to offer everyone a good selection of Sebastian Miniatures for purchase. The auction this year is exceptional and everyone has the opportunity to add a rare piece to their own collection. Hopefully this is the beginning of a new era in Sebastian Miniatures. Make your plans and come and join the fun.
Here is some practical information we are re-printing from the winter newsletter. Sally Dietrich did some research on accommodations and she negotiated a special for Sebastian collectors at the Red Roof Inn. The Red Roof Inn with the Sebastian promotion is located near the intersection of I-95 at Washington Street and Commerce Way. The Inn’s street address is 19 Commerce Way, Woburn MA, 01801. The Inn has rooms for $79.99 per night. The rooms have two full sized beds, are non-smoking, and the cut off date for this price is May 20, 2008, so act quickly. Should some of you wish to extend your stay, you can get the same rate for a room on the 19th. The Inn’s phone number is: 781-935-7110.
In the last newsletter we floated an idea about which we were thinking. The idea was to have some of the auction pieces available on e-Bay as well as at North Reading. This dual location auction was one of many ideas we have discussed in an effort to bring more collectors back to active participation. However, the logistics proved too difficult to pull it off this year and the auction pieces will only be available to collectors attending the auction or to those who have submitted mail bids. In an effort to spread the word about the auction, we have arranged to have about ten Sebastians offered on e-Bay prior to the Convention. In the text accompanying these pieces will be a promotion for the Convention.
Now let’s talk about the Convention Medallion. This year’s medallion will be the third in the series of themes inspired by the suits delineating playing cards. The medallion for this year will be a heart. However, this winter when Woody was working on the medallion for the 3rd Convention, he also did the fourth and final medallion. There was a good reason for this. Earlier in this article we announced that this year pewter versions of the medallions would be awarded to contestants in the Paint-Your-Own contest. In the past the pewter versions of the medallions had been awarded only to contestants in the Look-A-Like contest. Since the Look-A-Like contest is taking a sabbatical this year, it was decided to offer the pewter medallions to the Paint-Your-Own contestants. This is the first time this offer has been made and it will make the pewter medallions available to collectors who have not chosen to enter the Look-A-Like contest. This seemed like a good idea and we are expecting to distribute a lot more medallions this year. In addition there is a good possibility this change might carry forward to next year. All of this brings us back to the reason for completing the last two medallions this winter. Making a mold for pewter is many times more expensive than making a mold for the regular line. However, adding a second piece to a mold is relatively inexpensive. Therefore, there were significant savings to including the last two pieces in one mold. The added benefit to this course of action is that we are able to photograph the base and all four of the pieces for this article. Remember bases for the medallions will also be available at the Convention. John Scannell ordered additional bases to insure he would have enough for everyone this June. See you at the Convention!
THE ENGLISH PHONE BOTH
By Woody Baston
For this article we need to go back to the winter of 2007. Jim Waite was still with us and calling daily. Much of what Jim and I discussed had to do with the Convention, which he vigorously supported, and the Midwest Fair. Jim understood the necessity of planning ahead and the benefits of such planning. Therefore, it had become the modus operandi for Jim to tell me the theme for the upcoming Fair and describe the piece he would like for the medallion. Therefore, when he told me he wanted an English Phone Booth for the medallion I thought, this is going to be an interesting theme for the Fair in October. In the article on the Convention, I discuss the merits of filling a pewter mold with different designs. Jim, always on the lookout for any way he could save a penny or two, did not have to be told twice about the cost effectiveness of doubling up on a pewter mold. As I was in the process of finishing up the medallion for the second Convention and had scheduled a pewter mold for the medallion, Jim was eager to add his medallion to the mold. So, long before the Fair, the phone booth medallion was complete. As a matter of fact the pewter versions of the medallion for the Fair were delivered to Jim at the Convention. As the pieces were done and because they were relatively heavy, we both thought Jim could save a bit on postage if he took the pewter pieces back with him in his van after the Convention.
The Convention has now come and gone and Jim is back in Farmer City with the pewter medallions. I have the regular medallions and I am just about finished painting them when we learned of Jim’s passing. After Jim had gone there was some thought of a gathering in Farmer City as a memorial to Jim but as it turned out this did not seem like the right thing to do at that time. In the following months Sally, Annie, and Katrina spent many hours cleaning out Jim’s shop. The girls found out that Jim had a marvelous memory and kept most of his records in his head. Therefore, it was hard for them to sort through Jim’s entire inventory. Bit by bit things came together and the shop was cleared out. It is my understanding that a lot if the inventory was given to a local charity for them to sell and to raise money for their cause. I believe the pewter phone booths are floating around somewhere, but at this time I could not tell you where. However, the painted versions are in the Wayland Studio. As this will be the first anniversary of Jim’s passing, it seemed fitting to make these pieces available to collectors. Those who attend the Convention will have the first opportunity to add one of these pieces to their collection. There are a few collectors who have every Fair medallion made and now they will have the opportunity to complete the collection. Depending on how many are left over, if any, we may make the remaining pieces available on a first come first served basis.
The tag line I have used to close many of the articles in this newsletter seems appropriate here. See you at the Convention!
|SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
THIRD SEBASTIAN CONVENTION
Friday, June 20th, 2008
FRIDAY JUNE 20, 2008
Evening activities are to be held at:
The Masonic Lodge North Reading, MA
Personal appearances by Woody and Margery Baston
6:15 p.m.: Social Hour
7:15 p.m.: Dinner—Tickets are $28.00 apiece. Tickets are available at the door.
8:00p.m.: Talk by Woody
SATURDAY JUNE 21, 2008
8:15 a.m.: Doors open—Coffee and doughnuts will be available.
8:30 a.m.: Paint-Your-Own contest begins. The contest will be limited to the first 25 contestants to sign up.
11:30 a.m.: Lunch available.
1:30 p.m.: The all Sebastian Auction begins.
Directions to the North Reading Lodge
Take exit 39 (Concord Street) off Rte. 93. Bear right off the ramp onto Concord Street. Go to the end of Concord Street and at the stop sign turn right onto Park Street. Go straight on Park Street crossing over Rte. 28 at the traffic lights. The Masonic lodge will be on the left just before the junction of Park Street and Rte. 62.
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Revised: December 03, 2008