Ron Shear.jpg

Ron Shear displays his collection of spice cabinets at the Leaping into Collections event at the Windmill Cultural Center on Wednesday. Ron and his wife, Nancy, have enjoyed collecting many different items throughout the years, including pottery, filing cabinets and Illinois crocks.

Natalie Conrad/Clinton Herald
Herald Staff Writer

Chevy clocks, tea sets, cotton dolls, Easter eggs, Irish porcelain and Dutch jewelry were just a few of the collections featured at the Windmill Cultural Center's first Leaping into Collections on Wednesday.

Ron Blatchley displayed his collection of Bald Eagle items at the event. The collection includes picture frames, clocks, books, magazines, several handmade items and more. Many of the items have been bought at craft shows. He says he has collected the items over several years, not as much recently, though.

“I'm starting to run out of space,” Blatchley said.

Nancy and Ron Shear showed off their collection of spice cabinets, just one of many items the couple collect. The two have been collecting spice cabinets for more than 40 years. The couple also collect various other items such as Roseville Pottery, filing cabinets and several other items.  Ron didn't start collecting until he married Nancy.

“It's something that we love to do together,” Ron said.

Kathy Rynders' collection of bells carries great significance to her personally and has followed her throughout her life. It all started when she received her first bell from her mother. Rynders realized that she enjoyed the sound of bells and the peace of mind that they signify. Her collection features bells from all over the world. She collected bells from Austria and Poland while on a choir trip. She collected one from Hong Kong via a friend who went on a trip there. Bells from India were displayed; Rynders borrowed them from some friends.

The bell that carries the most significance to Rynders is the one that doesn't ring. The bell was broken by her son Peter who died at age 9. She recalls her son being afraid to tell her that he had broken the bell.

“He said he felt so bad he broke the bell that his tummy hurt,” Rynders said.

Rynders says the bell still has a very dull ring.

Arlene Considine showed off her 25-year collection of cotton ornaments, most of which were made in 1890 or earlier. She says the ornaments are scarce and hard to find. They were first made in Germany. Considine's collection began when her mother passed down two dolls to her in Germany. Considine’s collection began when her mother passed down two ornaments to her from her grandmother. To add to her collection, she buys old quilts and passes the fabric on to dealmakers.

Easter eggs are another passion for Considine, who says she loves to collect things from holidays in the past. She has collected Easter eggs for 40 years. The collection includes eggs from Germany, Poland, Lithuania and several other countries. Most of the eggs were purchased from auctions. She says she is very interested in the culture and history behind the eggs and will be taking a 22 day journey through Germany and Poland in the spring to study german Easter wells.

Dutch heritage and Fulton heritage was featured in many of the collections. Barb Mask displayed collections of Sinterklaus, Dutch books and Dutch jewelry. Betty Wiebenga displayed Zell dishware, which is German pottery with Dutch figures. Nancy Kolk had a collection of historic photos of Fulton and LeAnn Smith had a collection of Fulton souvenir dishes.

The  event also included several other collections such as Chevy clocks, porcelain cats, tea sets, toast racks, Irish Porcelain, toy tractors and trucks.

Shear says he hopes they will have more events like this.

“I hope we have this again, so I can bring in some of my other collections,” Shear said.

Follow Natalie Conrad on Twitter @NatalieConradCH.

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