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Starting A Marble Club


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Out here in Southern California we don't have a marble club. I have a base core of 5 friends that collect vintage and contemporary marbles. e are discussing starting a marble club and a few questions have been brought up. I hope you who belong and participate in a marble club can help us with telling about your experiences,

1. Club dues - Do you pay monthly, yearly, pay only when you attend a meeting or no dues at all?

2. Newsletter - How frequently is a newsletter sent out to the members?

3. At the meeting - We thought at first, we'd each bring "show-off" marbles and do a show and tell. At the next meeting, we'd have a discussion about the old marble making companies history and bring examples to share of marbles made by them. Maybe net, do a demonstration of making a contemporary marble. After that, what could we do - like maybe bringing in a guest speaker (but that might now work as no funds to pay them and no one lives close enough). What other things could we do other than repeating what we have done again that wouldn't cost?

Thanks for your help.

Rich

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Never heard of it Bob. My marble show is in Orange County and Joan had sold at the show before (VERY nice person too!!!). I am located in Riverside County with the other 5 people so I'd hope to get a club going around here instead of an hour drive if possible.

Thanks Winnie - how fun!!!!! I do have about 10 different solitaire marble games that I have made we could play too!

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I went back through my archives and could only find May 12, 2002 - LA Marble Show, Holiday Inn, 9901 La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles CA. Like I said, I think Joan was involved, so you might want to reach out to her. The name Tony Frank pops into my head too, but I think he was involved with the San Francisco show back then.

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If you are goiing to put the word otu to the public and try and get new collectors involved, especially younger ones, then your idea of having some type of topic at each meeting would be a good one. Some thoughts for newbies and even some mid-range collectors include: 1) Grading marbles - showing different types of damage - have examples of subsurface moons, fractures, etc.; 2) basics on older handmade collecting (some machine made collectors might find that interesting since they may not know much about it) but need someone with good examples of basic handmades; 3) same thing for machine mades with examples of various basic types - cat's-eyes, oxblood, metallic, corkscrew, Rainbo, NLR, CA, etc. 4) later on, if you get kids in attendance, you could have one meeting where there are some marble shooting games set up; 5) maybe a talk by someone who sells (and buys) successfully on eBay. Just some thoughts although I agree with Galen if you only have the "normal" group of collectors that come to shows, etc. By the way, keep the "learning" part to a half-hour or so, and if certain people want more info, they can talk to the speaker after the "talk".

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We have four meetings a year, not counting our show.

Scheduled for 2 hours; 15 minutes for club business, 15 minutes for a presentation (if someone vlolunteers). Presentations have ranged from identifying hand made marbles, the difference between machine mades, how to play marbles, the difference between steelies and ball bearings, collectable uses of marbles, etc. It does require a willing membership. The rest for looking at marbles, swapping stories and lies, and visiting with old and new friends. At our last meeting, we had a spirited discussion our Mega Marbles.

The last two years, we have held our January meeting at the Toy and Miniature Museum. The Museum promotes a marble identification day to the local press and their membership rolls. We have looked at "Grandpa's marbles" to "I found these marbles in my garden". Since the museum promotes it, it goes out to more than just the marble collecting community. We are doing it again next Saturday/ We don't know what the turn out will be but it is another opportunity to promote our upcoming show.

We also do one of the meeting at Moon Marble Company so we can watch Bruce make marbles.

The other two meetings vary by location. We try to move them around the city to make them accessible to folks who may not want to make the "hour" drive to every meeting. We had had them in community centers, Libraries and park pavilions.

Like marble collecting, if you are forming a club, have fun with it and develop a thick skinn because your can't please all the people all of the time.

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I've talked to 5 of my marble collecting friends and we decided if we start a club to start out with bringing our "show-off" marbles to show and tell. Then take a closer look at a few of the old machine marble making companies and try to find some interesting things about them. No dues and maybe meet at different restaurants near each others homes.

Rich

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