What People Say: Hazle Guide Update

From Marilyn on 31st October 2004 and edited since, including 2011:

1 Intro & Planning

Mary C has written:

“Marilyn, I always enjoy reading your bits about Hazle history. It truly is enlightening and fascinating. One day, if you were so inclined, maybe you should put all of this information together, publish it, and sell it. I for one would buy it. I don't know if you have ever heard of Longaberger baskets here in the US, but they have a HUGE following. They are handmade maple baskets, and are very collectible as well. A separate company called "Bentley" publishes a listing of all Longaberger's baskets, and then sells an update each year to keep it current. It's what made me think about it. I don't know how big the Hazle following is (I'm sure you have a better idea), but hopefully it will continue to grow, and it would be worth your time for such a venture. Anyway, I hope you don't mind me bringing this up, it's just something I think about every time you publish another tidbit for our group.”

This has prompted me to give an update on the proposed Hazle Guide. In 2001 Hazle asked if I was interested in writing a Hazle history. Chris and I have been developing something on a voluntary basis ever since.

We currently aim to present information in two basic ways, which may form part of the same guide:

Collectors’ Building Shape Guide

There will probably be a small Orientation Guide possibly similar to the one on this site, listed by model in chronological order of issue.

There will also be a larger section listing the shapes by place so that where there are several buildings in the same town they can be grouped together - such as in London, Canterbury, Windsor, Oxford, Cambridge, Liverpool and Bath. These towns and cities happen to be very beautiful and historic and something of this will be woven into the background information and photo of each building.

I am also looking at the folders where Hazle keeps all material pertinent to the development of a particular building and will probably pass on interesting bits and pieces from that too.

The aim is to include approximate numbers of every building shape plus all known paintings on it. It is unusual in the collectables’ world to have such details. Hazle Ceramics are more quirky than most, as some paintings are prolific while others are very short-runs. So this data, where available, is really part of the story. The research, garnered from old delivery notes and summary sheets, is well-advanced.

The Best of Hazle Ceramics

By Theme - for example Hazle Post Offices, Bookshops, Fashion Houses and so on. The list of possible themes is almost endless. The aim is for this to be a celebration not only of the ceramics but, through them, of our heritage and social history too. Some ceramics not shown elsewhere in the guide will be featured here.

2 Practical Aspects

We have invested in a Mac computer because commercial printers work with Mac and not PC files. Our Adobe Creative Suite software will enable us to do the design work ourselves - to a professional standard.

However there is a concern about getting enough sales to break even on the printing, let alone see any return on our huge investment of labour, time and other costs. Commercial print jobs have a minimum run of 500 copies but it is much more cost effective to print more.

I am reliably informed that the originator of the Lilliput Lane Guides, who was independent from the company, went bankrupt in the process. And Lilliput Lane have several times as many collectors. So we must be careful.

Clay suggested that a way round printing costs would be to have an eBook. Trouble is, a lot of Hazle collectors are not computer literate. And I think having an actual book might generate interest if sold, say, in Hazle's shop at Barleylands. I don't think there would be many takers for an eBook and it could dilute the market for a physical one. But the group website isn't doing too badly as an electronic work!

We are looking again at the idea a loose-leaf guide which can be gradually built up into a customised binder.

Taking Photos

In the summer (of 2006) I started work on the actual guide. I realised almost immediately that if we wanted high resolution digital photos of the original buildings we were probably going to have to take them ourselves. At first this seemed a bit of a pain - didn’t we already have more than enough to do? But it was the start of yet another journey - rather literally in this instance.

Anyone at the Roding Arts Signing in June 2006 will have seen a sample double-page spread for Bath Sally Lunn - the first result of our efforts.

I also discovered Hazle doesn’t remember exactly where some buildings are! My nephew Stephen, in his first term at the University of London Institute in Paris, thought it sounded like a treasure hunt. Having passed his driving test, I said it was a shame he wasn’t still here to help with the quest. He replied, “Yes, pity... ”

As mentioned in my article on Shape Names, prefixing models with their place name has helped us pinpoint the towns to visit. We have made a start but there is still some way to go.

As far as images of the ceramics are concerned, my large personal collection has been digitally photographed and we may use ceramics from other collectors too.

Last modified on 2 June, 2021
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