Behind the Scenes: Chiquita Shares Her 'Martha Stewart' Experience
By Chiquita Prestwood
Can you imagine the excitement when you're told a television producer will call you about appearing on national television? I found this out first hand recently when told by the co-authors of "McCoy Pottery, Collectors Reference and Value Guide" (Bob and Margaret Hanson and Craig Nissen)* that the producers from Martha Stewart Living would be calling me. Martha Stewart was interested in doing a segment on McCoy cookie jars for her program. Neither of the authors collects McCoy cookie jars, so they kindly recommended me.
Once the producers for the show contacted me, things started rolling. First a date was set for me to travel to Connecticut. New clothes had to be bought! Travel arrangements had to be made. I had to decide which cookie jars to send ahead. I tried to select ones that could appeal to anyone watching the show. Easily found jars as well as rare ones needed to be included. Hopefully anyone who saw the show was able to relate to at least one of the jars shown.
The time finally arrived for the trip. Everything went smoothly, and we were due to tape on Thursday, September 20. It was interesting to see other segments being taped while we waited for my segment, and it gave me an idea of what to expect. I had the opportunity to chat with Martha a few minutes before the taping started. She was very easy to talk to and seemed genuinely interested in the cookie jars we were discussing. She does collect McCoy pottery so she had knowledge of the pottery company.
Before I knew it our session was over and I was on my way. We taped for about 20 minutes, and it was reduced to around 7 minutes for the program. Everyone at the studio seemed very nice and interested in the cookie jars. Almost all of them had a favorite and called it by name. One person told me his aunt had the Smiley Face, another liked the Woodsey Owl. What an honor it was to be asked to be on Martha Stewart's program and to do the segment. It was an experience I'll never forget.
I've collected McCoy for over 25 years and have over 385 McCoy cookie jars in my collection. Through the years, I've bought all the reference books about McCoy and also found some catalog information. Studying this information soaks in and you're able to recognize things when you spot them setting on a shelf. I've also made some wonderful friends through the years, and we exchange information with each other.
To newer collectors, I'd recommend that they buy whatever reference books are available and read whatever information they come across on collecting. Internet newsletters are an excellent source of information. Be aware of what reproductions are in the marketplace and what to look for when looking for cookie jars (or whatever subject you're collecting). Find other collectors to share information with and ask for help when in doubt on something. Most of all, enjoy what you're collecting and have fun with it.
NOTE: Here are links to some of the cookie jars Chiquita brought with her to the show:
Smiley Face: http://www.auctionbytes.com/images/ina10.jpg
Woodsey Owl: http://www.auctionbytes.com/images/ina11.jpg
Soccer Ball: http://www.auctionbytes.com/images/ina9.jpg
Big Tummy: http://www.auctionbytes.com/images/ina5.jpg
You can purchase "McCoy Pottery, Collectors Reference and Value Guide" by Bob and Margaret Hanson and Craig Nissen at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1574321161/auctionbytescom
About the author:
Chiquita Prestwood and her husband Dewey have collected McCoy pottery for over 20 years. They have over 2,000 pieces, some of which have been featured in recent books. Chiquita writes a column for NM Express newsletter http://members.aol.com/nmxpress and has appeared on the "Martha Stewart Living" television program. Email her at McQuita @ aol.com. eBay ID: McQuita
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