Get ready for the Winterthur ceramics conference

Caryl Huffaker
Caryl Huffaker
Photo by Chris Barber
Longwood Gardens is holding several Easter brunch events. Sign up soon or miss out.
Photo by Chris Barber Longwood Gardens is holding several Easter brunch events. Sign up soon or miss out.

For those who love anything ceramic Winterthur will hold its ceramics conference April 24 and 25. Called “Image Is Everything! Ceramics and the People Who Owned Them,” the program involves joining with Winterthur’s staff and visiting international scholars as they study both Chinese and Western ceramics. For information and registration call 899-448-3883.


For the very first time, the Brandywine River Museum of Art is offering art classes at the Kuerner farm.

Drawing Kuerner Farm –- the farm that inspired Andrew Wyeth for so many years -- will be the focus on Saturday April 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

This workshop will be led by artist Jane Chesson. This is open to all levels of expertise with all materials provided. Dress for the outdoors and meet at the museum. Cost is $30 for non-members, $24 for members.


Art Class with Karl Kuerner – Artist Kuerner will teach an eight-week course at the Kuerner Farm. It will meet on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. from May 6 to July 24 or on Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m., May 8 to June 26. Participants supple own materials. The first class will be at the museum. Cost is $259 for non-members or $200 for members. Dress for outdoors.

To register call 610-388-8326.

Great year

On a recent visit to Winterthur I heard a staff member say that judging by the May reservations, the attendance at Winterthur this year will be up by 400 percent. Judging by the crowds in the Downton Abbey exhibit, that must be true.

They do have so many programs and lectures, I cannot list them all. However their conservation clinic will be held on April 7 from 1 to 4 p.m. To learn how to care for your antiques, get an appointment at 392-888-4786

Winterthur not only has the costumes from “Downton Abbey,” they have replicas of much of the jewelry. A trunk show of the jewelry will be held April 11 through 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are earrings galore plus pins, necklaces and hair clips.


Unless you are a lover of jazz and drinking wine, don’t plan on visiting Longwood Garden on Saturday, June 7. They are holding an expanded Jazz and Wine Festival with jazz groups located in many spots garden wide. As a result, unless you have tickets to the festival you may not attend. The festival runs from 2 to 9 p.m. Guest musicians include Grammy Award winner Dee Dee Bridgewater. They will be serving wine from 16 of the region’s wineries. Tickets are on sale now.


The Red Clay watershed and its accomplishments will be the topic by Delaware Secretary of the Environment Colin O’Mara on Wednesday, April 23, at the 63rd annual dinner of the Red Clay Valley Association at the Mendenhall Inn. Studies have found that Delaware’s watersheds contribute up to $7 billion annually to the state’s economy. It also supports more than 70,000 jobs directly and indirectly.

The RCVA dinner will also have a silent auction that begins at 5:30 p.m. and highlights some hard to find native plants. For information or tickets call 610-793-1090.


Once again residents volunteered, almost 600 of them, to clean up the annual Red Clay Valley 76-mile clean up. Organized by Jim Jordan, the huge turnout enabled them to cover the usual area but they enlarged it. They gathered up nine tons of trash including 67 tires in just four hours.

Sponsors of the event included the Kennett Area Park Authority, Starbucks Coffee Company, Wild Birds Unlimited, WSFS, Mt. Cuba Center, Chandler Funeral Home, Exelon Generation, United Water of Delaware, Delaware State Senator Greg Lavelle, Phillips Mushroom Farms and Constellation. There were many groups of young people among the volunteers. Congratulations to everyone.


I recently had the misfortune to lose my wallet. My most grievous loss was my driver’s licence, my Medicare card, my secondary insurance card and my Social Security card. I was relieved that at least my credit card had not been in the wallet. To get a new driver’s license you just take identification with a photo to an official license station. The nearest one was in the Granite Mall, with no waiting. Both the two insurance cards required only a phone call. And the Social Security card required a form to mail that I printed off the computer. I was certainly happy about the efficiency of all this. But it really brought home how easy it is to track someone. There is no where to hide -– a very bad feeling.


The Friends of the Brandywine Battlefield need to raise a little money to fund the camps and programs they run for the local children. You can help by buying tickets for the Blue Rocks game on July 11 at 7:05 p.m. And it’s not just a baseball game; there is also a money rodeo and fireworks after the game. Tickets are $20 each and they would be happy to handle any sponsorships of $200 (20 tickets) or $500 (20 tickets) both with free promotion of your company on All tickets must be purchased by June13. For tickets go to


If you are interested in attending an Easter or Mother’s Day Buffet at Longwood Gardens, you had better hurry as reservations are already pretty full. Easter times are April 19, 1 to 5 p.m. and April 20, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For Mother’s Day the times are May 10, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and May 11, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 610-388-1000 for reservations, and when that fails, use their on-line system under Longwood Gardens. There is one warning. On this always popular time, off-site parking with shuttle buses may be used.


We all know that Winterthur is serving an English tea during their blockbuster “Downton Abbey,” exhibit but perhaps you did not know that they are also serving an English brunch on certain dates, and it is not exactly like the usual American brunch. No, I did not see kippered herring or black sausages on the menu. If you are interested you might call 302-888-4826.


Hagley Museum will host Colombia University professor and author Richard R. John in a free lecture on Wednesday, April 23, at 7 p.m. His talk is called “Telegraphs for the 1 percent. Telephones for the People. How America Became a Network Nation.” Dr. John will show how the tightly regulated telegraph remained a technological backwater accessible only to small elite. At the same time the highly regulated telephone became a powerhouse available to everyone. Reservations are requested at 302-658-2400, ext. 243. The talk will be in the Soda reached from the Buck Road East entrance off Route 100.


When we think Iraq we mainly think of war, but for five years Winterthur has been thinking “preservation of their history.” They consider this important, as Iraq is considered the birthplace of Western civilization, according to Lois Olcott Price, director of conservation at Winterthur Museum and chair of IICah’s Itaqi-American Advisory Council. Launched in 2006, IICah with a $14 million grant by the U.S. Department of State, IICAH includes the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, Kurdistan Regional Government, US Embassy Bagdad, U.S. Department of State, Winterthur Museum, University of Delaware, Walters Art Museum, Getty Conservation Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University and University of Arizona. It was five years of study, but after five hard years, they graduated 14 Iraqi students last fall. As Price said, artifacts tell us our family story, where we came from, how we got here.

IICAH completed a state of the art educational and training facility in 2009 at the foot of the Citadel, the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the world, to train Iraqi preservation professionals to preserve artifacts, sites and buildings in the wake of the of the Iraq war. What a piece of good news this is among so many from that part of the world.


The play Annapuma is the third play by Sharr White in three years, with the first two going to Broadway. Annapuma is an explosive play about a couple who cannot live with one another or without one another. Emma goes to visit someone who strangely enough is wearing only an apron. Here they debate, or rather argue against a mountain of old pain and hurts the possibility of reconciliation. The show runs April 17 through May 11 by Theatre Exile at its South Philadelphia Studio, 1340 13th St. For tickets call 215-218-1022.


This imaginative tale of a boy with dreadful guardian aunts befriends some human-like bugs that live in a giant peach who take him to visit New York City will be given by the Players Club of Swarthmore. Buy tickets at the door, adults $19, under 12 are $8. Performances are Fridays April 11 and 18 at 7 p.m., Saturdays April 12 and 19 at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 13 at 11 a.m.

The Kennett Flash

April 19 – Better Than Bacon Improv

April 12 – Jonathan Edwards

Caryl Huffaker lives in Kennett Township.