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Historical Society Hosts Ceramics Workshop

It was a refresher course on the art of ceramics at the Oyster Bay Historical Society last Wednesday night. Everything from the preservation, cleaning, handling and displaying of fine ceramic pieces was covered at the workshop, which was part of the American Library Association’s Preservation Week. OBHS archivist and librarian Nicole Menchise gave a detailed presentation to the small crowd on hand.

“This is not a workshop for everyday ceramics,” said Menchise. “This is for people who own particular types of ceramics, including family heirlooms and treasured keepsakes that must be handled with extreme care.”

Menchise started off the presentation by explaining the basics of ceramics, from how they’re made to the chemical process that is used to make them. She spoke about different types of ceramics from stoneware, porcelain and other glassware. She then gave a detailed description on the cleaning process, handling and repairs, storage and moving and displaying of fine ceramics.

“When cleaning ceramics you must never use bleach or products containing bleach on fine china,” said Menchise. “The chlorine gets under the glaze and reacts with both the glaze and the porcelain to ruin the piece.”

Menchise added that routine cleaning of ceramics is not recommended because regular housekeeping is potentially damaging to pieces and that when cleaning it is best to use natural bristle brushes or a low suction vacuum with a hose wrapped in nylon to bring out their natural shine.

When repairing a damaged piece, Menchise said that clean, dry hands or fitted, Nitrile gloves with textured fingertips are best to use. She said that with porcelain pieces, Elmer’s glue can be used on pieces that won’t see the inside of the dishwasher because the glue dries clear, is non-toxic and is water soluble. If you’re going to store your ceramic pieces, it is best not to use newspaper because the ink can run off on the object. Acid-free and lignin-free tissue and acid-free boxes are the best method of storage.

For displaying your ceramic pieces it is best to have a level surface, plenty of space away from other objects and preferably within a closed cabinet. Using museum putty is the best method to secure objects to shelving and lids to their vessels.

“This workshop gives owners a particular skill set to help them take care of their precious keepsakes and heirlooms,” said Menchise.

News

Driving rain and an early start time did not deter 600 people who arrived at Crest Hollow Country Club recently to celebrate the Women’s Fund of Long Island’s 20th year and to honor four exceptional women.

The breakfast started with a meet and greet and a chance to showcase Women’s Fund contest winner Patti Hogarty, designer of “Women as Bamboo.” Inspired by her neighbor’s bamboo, she entered the contest drawing a design of the bamboo, which Ambalu Jewelers of Roslyn then turned into various pendants of which 40-percent of the profits would go to WFLI. Hogarty wrote a short essay comparing women to bamboo in that they are strong and can weather difficult storms, yet remain graceful and continue to grow sending out new shoots.

Oyster Bay High School Principal Dr. Dennis O’Hara addressed the board of education at Tuesday night’s meeting about offering a summer school program at the high school. It would be the first time the district had a summer school program in more than 12 years.

Dr. O’Hara explained that with the institution of the Common Core state standards, students are faced with a greater level of academic rigor and more challenging coursework. The program would offer remedial and enrichment classes for students both in and out of district.


Sports

In the history of Oyster Bay High School athletics, no one has ever won a Girls’ Tennis New York State Championship. Celeste Matute and Courtney Kowalsky became the first when they won the 2014 New York State Doubles Championship in Latham on Nov. 3. What makes this tremendous achievement even more remarkable is that Matute is a junior and Kowalsky is a sophomore.

The girls, who are usually singles players, teamed up to take on the very best players in Nassau County and New York State. They won all 10 matches in the section XIII and NYSPHSAA tournaments and left Latham as the 2014 New York State doubles champions.

The conditions were as fierce as the competition earlier this month at Oakcliff Sailing’s Halloween Invitational.

Ten teams from the U.S., Canada and Bermuda battled 30-knot-plus winds, heavy rain and biting cold to see who would take top honors at Oakcliff’s final match racing event of the 2014 season.


Calendar

Raingarden Workshop

Wednesday, November 19 & Thursday, November 20

Informative Hospital Talk

November November 20

Opera Night

Sunday, November 23



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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