collected several years before I realized there might be
a book published on McCoy Pottery. Even then I was such a
novice I didn't think about going to a book store for the
reference information I sought. I simply wrote to the McCoy
Pottery Factory in Roseville, Ohio inquiring if they had
a book on their pottery. Within a short time I got a personal
letter from Billie McCoy telling me they had copies of a
paperback book, "The Real McCoy" by Pamela Coates and a paperback
book ,"Beginners Guide to American Pottery" by Deb and Gini
was in awe at getting a hand typed letter and personally
signed at that by Mrs. Nelson McCoy. I ordered both the books
she mentioned. When they arrived I marveled at the products
McCoy manufactured…not only the planters I was accustomed
to seeing but cookie jars, vases, etc. I thought to myself,
If only I could meet these people. (Little did I know she
and Nelson would become dear friends of mine in years to
Pottery Festival in 1987 , a group of ten McCoy collectors
gathered in Zanesville Ohio to compare notes on our pottery.
We had the good fortune to meet Nelson and Billie that year…my
dream came true!
Nelson and Billie McCoy when
they visited my home.
year after that we visited with them while in Ohio and kept
in touch through the year. In l996 Nelson and Billie were
en route to Florida for a winter vacation. One Saturday night
about 7:30 the phone rang and it was Billie asking if they
could come visit the next day. Oh My! The McCoys at my house!
they arrived the next day I was so excited. Showing Nelson
and Billie my collection of pottery their family had made
was quite a treat. Nelson would pick up a piece and tell
me who designed it. Once he picked up something saying "We
didn't make this" and then he saw the McCoy logo on the bottom
and he'd laugh and say" Well, I guess we did."
Nissen when he visited
doing the second book.
of the Hansons,
Margaret passed away in
of my Collecting Career
have to say meeting Nelson and Billie and becoming friends
has been THE most memorable highlight of my collecting career.
important memorable highlight has being able to contribute
to the making of some of the reference material on McCoy.
In the planning stages of "Collectors Reference and Value
Guide" by Craig Nissen , Margaret and Bob Hanson, Craig asked
if I had pieces I'd be willing to ship for him to photograph.
At the time I was doing radiation treatment at Duke for breast
cancer. Craig and I would talk during the week selecting
what items he could use. When I got home on Fridays I'd pack
them and rush to UPS to send them. What fun it was to be
included in a project like this.
The "Real" fun
happened when the next book was being put together. "Collectors
Reference and Value Guide, Vol. 11" is the volume that includes
McCoy cookie jars. Neither the Hanson's nor Craig collected
cookie jars or had a lot of knowledge about them. Both had
collectors that lived near them and they photographed those
collections. Craig came to our home for a short visit, bringing
his lighting equipment, back drop, and camera. We sought
the best place in my house for working and prepared the equipment.
Working from the photos they'd taken of other jars, we filled
in the missing ones with mine. We photographed about 300
pieces of pottery in one day. Despite being so totally exhausted
I was so honored to be able to help this way with this book.
a third volume was planned Craig asked to visit again to
photograph more items. Another day of hard work followed
but well worth it for the satisfaction I received with being
able to contribute once again.
after Craig was here for the third Volume, The Hansons e-mailed
me that I would be hearing from Martha Stewart's producer
about doing a segment for them on McCoy cookie jars. Shortly
after I read their e-mail Craig called to get my response.
With the recommendation of these wonderful friends came the
offer to ship 25 of 30 of my cookie jars to Connecticut and
fly up to tape a segment with Martha . My brother was willing
to go with me, organizing my trip so I could see a bit of
New York while we were there.
trip included multiple highlights for me. Besides seeing
as much of the City as possible in a short time, I taped
the Segment with Martha Stewart and was able to visit with
friends in N.J. before coming home. Co-incidentally the time
offered for taping was a few days before Craig was to visit
Joanne and Glenn Lindberg to photograph part of their collection
for Vol. 3. Joanne had the MOST fabulous McCoy I'd ever seen
and It was so great to be able to see it while on that trip.
Frank Poolas from N.J. came while Craig was there and we
all pitched in doing the work for Craig to photograph the
Joanne's pottery was certainly a highlight of my collecting.
She was truly a dear friend. (Joanne passed away several
months after my visit).
dear friend Joanne who also passed away. (darn, I sure do
miss her) and
her husband Glen on our outing to the Statue of Liberty, while visiting her.
been able to make other contributions to some of the reference
books. Steve Sanford used some information I supplied in
his "Sanfords Guide to McCoy Pottery" along with photos of
a few pieces of my pottery. The majority of his book was
from Billie McCoy and Joanne's collections.
Addition to the McCoy books, Joyce Roerig used a few of my
photos as well in her Cookie Jar books.
highlight was as a contributor to the McCoy newsletter,
The NM Express, published by Carol Seman and Dan Eggert.
It started as a column to answer questions but when I didn't
have a question, I wrote about things I thought
the readers would enjoy reading. This continues
now with the Journal for McCoy Pottery Collectors
McCoy Pottery extends far beyond buying a piece of pottery
and setting it on the shelf. It includes the friendships
I've made through the hobby, the knowledge I've gained and
been fortunate to be able to share with other collectors
and the experiences in collecting.
Martha Stewart / Right: Chiquita Prestwood
an appearance on the Martha Stewart Show, I had the
opportunity to have some photos taken with her.
view the article: "McCoy
Cookie Jars with Chiquita"
the scenes at the Lindbergs, taking photos for Vol.
was finished and we decided to do one more photo..so
Frank Poolas (fingers on the right) and I just held
up the lighting backboards for Craig.
Favorite McCoy Art
This is a print of one of MaryAnn Bucci's paintings.
She asked for my help in selecting items for the original
Left : This is an original cartoon done by Artist & Friend,
subject is the Martha Stewart segment being viewed
on T-V by McCoy cookie jars.
Right: Artist and friend Jack Sullivan's perception
of the Lily Wall Pocket.
number of years ago Jean Bushnell and her husband
were in Zanesville for the festival.
our MPCS group.
and I became dear friends. Our husbands went
into the old factory which had partially burned....and
emerged with this night shift sign.
I have something else from the time clock but I
don't know where it is.
Last summer I
had the opportunity to see original sketches by the
Copes, well known designers for McCoy Pottery through
This one caught
my eye for several reasons.
First, the Sports planters are some of my favorite McCoys
and this sheet shows all the produced ones as well as others
that were not. Then I happened to notice there were sketches
on the reverse side.
|To my surprise and complete delight I found the hillbilly
bear sketch there. This has been a highly sought after cookie
jar by any serious McCoy collector. Roy Demory used to wear
a shirt with the Hillbillys image on it hoping to attract
the eye of someone who might have one.
|Velma Cope was gracious in showing us the sketches and
even more so in selling a few of them to collectors.
Reverend Max Coots.
us give thanks for a bounty of people.
children who are our second planting, and though they grow
like weeds and the wind too soon blows them away, may they
forgive us our cultivation and fondly remember where their
us give thanks: For generous friends, with hearts and smiles
- as bright as their blossoms;
feisty friends, as tart as apples;
continuous friends, who, like scallions and cucumbers, keep
reminding us that we've had them;
crotchety friends, sour as rhubarb and as indestructible;
handsome friends, who are as gorgeous as eggplants and as
elegant as a row of corn, and the others, as plain as potatoes
and so good for you;
funny friends, who are as silly as Brussels sprouts and as
amusing as Jerusalem artichokes;
serious friends as unpretentious as cabbages, as subtle as
summer squash, as persistent as parsley, as delightful as
dill, as endless as zucchini and who, like parsnips, can
be counted on to see you through the winter;
old friends, nodding like sunflowers in the evening-time
and young friends coming on as fast as radishes;
loving friends, who wind around us like tendrils and hold
us, despite our blights, wilts, and witherings;
finally, for those friends now gone, like gardens past that
have been harvested, but who fed us in their time that we
might have life thereafter.
all these we give thanks.