2020 Annual Convention

Charleston, WV

Take Me Home, Country Roads

Monday, June 15— Friday, June 19, 2020

ABA 2020 Convention – Charleston, WV

Embassy Suites
300 Court Street
Charleston, WV 25301

Reservations: (304) 347-8700, use ABA as code              Click here for Charleston Embassy Suites

Convention Registration — $155

(includes two lunches, two dinners)

The Charleston Embassy Suites by Hilton is located in the downtown area, surrounded by restaurants and other attractions. All sleeping rooms and common areas have been completely renovated. The hotel is directly across from the Town Center Mall, three floors and a central atrium, with stores like JC Penney, Talbots, American Eagle, Foot Locker, plus many more. An internal food court has restaurants like Chick-fil-A, Sbarro, Charley’s Philly Steaks, Subway, etc. Perimeter restaurants include Outback Steakhouse, The Chop House, Panera Bread, Chilli’s, and Tidewater Grill. Hours: 10 am – 9 pm Monday-Saturday, 12 noon – 6 pm Sunday.

Convention Room Rates

Single or Double room – $135
Triple room – $145
Quad room – $155

Room rate includes:
FREE Parking
FREE Breakfast Buffet or cook-to-order Breakfast
Manager’s Evening Reception & FREE drinks/snacks
FREE shuttle van to any destination within 5 miles

After Thursday, May 14, room rates are NOT guaranteed.

3-Day Pre- and Post-Convention Rate…Book Early

Convention Tours

Tour 1

You Don’t Want to Miss this Scenic Tour through
West Virginia.

 MONDAY, June 15 $20

Wind through the mountains of West Virginia to view the magnificent scenery of the mountains. We will travel to Tamarack and take time to view the town, have lunch, and then motor to New River Gorge Bridge. Then we will travel to Gauley River Pottery located in Mount Lookout, West Virginia, where we will observe a demonstration of throwing an item on a potter’s wheel.

Tamarack—The Best of West Virginia is the nation’s first showcase of handcrafts, fine art, and regional cuisine. It comprises a warmly decorated retail store, working studios for resident artisans, a fine art gallery, a theater, A Taste of West Virginia food court, and the Tamarack Conference Center.

New River Gorge Bridge & Visitor Center
A rugged, white water river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. When the New River Gorge Bridge was completed in 1977, the bridge reduced a 40-minute drive down narrow mountain roads to less than a minute—a work of structural art, the longest steel span in the western hemisphere and the third highest in the United States.

Gauley River Pottery
Beautiful handmade pottery from the mountains of West Virginia.
At our studio you will find a wide selection of functional, wheel thrown, handcrafted stoneware and handmade ceramics. We mostly work similar to an assembly line. You will see each of us doing whatever job needs done throwing, trimming, adding handles and adornments, waxing and glazing. We are proud of our work and a visit to our studio will let you learn, firsthand, how and why we make pieces a certain way and what we like about all the items.

Tour 2

Tour of St. George Orthodox Cathedral

(across from Hotel)
Wednesday Afternoon

Since 1892, the Orthodox Christian faith has been in Charleston, West Virginia, brought originally by immigrants from Lebanon and Syria. In 1905, the parish was officially incorporated under the hierarchal leadership of St. Raphael of Brooklyn, who in 1911 consecrated the first altar.

This church appears to have a bell tower, however, there are no bells used in this beautiful church…instead there is a recording of the bells. They are welcoming the ABA organization for a brief tour. Please sign up if you plan to attend.

Airport Transportation
Yeager Airport (CRW)

The airport is located 5 miles from Embassy Suites. Free shuttle is available. Call Embassy Suites (FREE SHUTTLE) at the telephone located on the baggage level of the airport.

Non-stop flights from major airports…Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC through American Airlines, Delta, and United.

Convention Auction

The Convention Auction will be held on Thursday, June 18, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

A catalog of auction items will be available at registration.

If you wish to place items in the auction, please call

Bruce Clayton
Auction Chairman
Saturday, March 7, 2020
only beginning at 12 noon
Central Standard Time

If you are putting bells in the auction, you must be attending the convention or have made arrangements with another member to bring and set up the bells for the auction.

A maximum of 300 bells or bell-related items will be accepted with a limit of 12 items per family.

Each item MUST have a minimum value of $25.

A group of bells may be placed as a single item if each item in the group has the minimum valueof $25.
The auctioneer has the discretion of eliminating a group of bells, if the value per bell is NOT $25.

A minimum bid may be set for any two (2) items in a seller’s group. Any bell with a value of $250 or more may also have a minimum bid.

The ABA seller’s premium is 15% of the total sales of his/her group. No credit cards accepted…only cash or checks.

2020 ABA Convention Pottery Bell

Created by Gauley River Pottery

“I find inspiration all over the place,” said Mary Bethune, partner and potter at the shop and studio. “I’m doing more nature-inspired pieces. Rock cliffs, and the gradients in their colors and formations. Some stuff is from water over rocks…West Virginia wildflowers, trees.”

Both of the studio’s signatures are inspired by the notorious Gauley River: uniquely layered Gauley Green glaze, and swirling whitewater wave bowls.

These colorful, creative works aren’t just unique and lovely, they’re durable. They’re designed for everyday use, so you can pop them in the microwave, dishwasher, or oven.


Step into the studio and you will probably catch the craftsmanship in the making. At the back of the shop, there’s a studio where Mary or her husband, John Ackison, are constantly creating. You can watch every step as they spin a hunk of clay into a functional, beautiful piece.

“If people come in with young kids, we give them clay to pinch around on,” Mary said. “It’s really hands-on for youngsters.” (Quote captured from Visitwv.com.)

Gauley River Pottery is located in Mt. Lookout, West Virginia. The beautiful bell she has sculpted is being made especially for the American Bell Association for the 2020 annual convention. The ABA bell is made from stoneware clay and has a scalloped rim and swirled handle with her unique touch to the design. The bell is 6″ in height and 3.5″ in diameter. The inside of the bell has ABA 2020 WV and a ribbon that supports the pottery nugget clapper for $45. The artist will sign the inside of bell Gauley River.