Cookie Cutter Collectors Club

Photo By Christy Porter Jeff Goris demonstrates how to make a cookie cutter as members of the Club watch closely.
By Christy Porter
Managing Editor

Licking was the destination for a group of travelers from Nebraska, Colorado, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Kansas and Missouri this past weekend. The biannual meeting of the Heart of America (HOA) Cookie Cutter Collectors Club was held at the Licking Senior Center. It began Friday evening with a light meal provided by My Little Cupcake (as was breakfast Sat. morning) and a meet and greet for arriving members.

Jeff and Betty Goris hosted this meeting of unique visitors. Jeff, a local tinsmith artisan, makes cookie cutters along with other creations. He and Betty are two of the 225 members of the HOA Cookie Cutter Collectors Club (CCCC). Jeff has made special cutters for several of their events as well as for National Cookie Cutter Collectors Club conventions. Over the course of the day he also offered instruction on making a cookie cutter and allowed members to create their own cutter. As a retired metal-working teacher, he makes it look easy. Betty is a retired accountant, a cutter collector and she makes beautiful linen-wrapped buttons.
Photo by Christy Porter Tammy Sullins, owner of
My Little Cupcake, brought a basket of acorn cookies,
 made with an acorn cookie cutter, which Jeff Goris made for her.

With Jeff and Betty living here in our great, forested area, Betty chose ‘Trees of the Ozarks’ as the theme for the spring meeting. Jeff’s gift to the attending members was a collection of personally made, signed and dated cookie cutters. It included an oak leaf cutter representing the beauty of our Ozarks forest, God’s creation! Also included were an acorn representing the food and shelter that our forest provides to wildlife and a small hatchet representing our valuable resource that must be carefully managed. 

Who knew there were so many different cookie cutters? In an HOA survey taken over the years, at their first meeting the club members had approximately 1,000 cookie cutters; in 1998, two of their members alone had 40,000 cutters each. 

Saturday morning Jeff welcomed the members to the meeting and to Licking. He followed with an informative and complimentary talk on the Licking area, its history and its resources, focusing on the forestry industry and its people.

John and Cheryl Parsons were the next presenters; they also have an Aladdin lamp collection, which they shared at this gathering. In their informative talk they explained how to distinguish the authentic from the reproduction lamps. Their gift to the attending members was an Aladdin lamp cookie cutter.
Following the Parsons, the members had an opportunity to pursue the cutter scramble, shopping and visiting. Thirty members were then off to the Open House at the George O. White State Forest Nursery. Our beautiful and productive nursery was well represented with a greeting and informative talk by Mike Fiaoni, Nursery Supervisor, Deana Byraim, Nursery Manager, the speakers on the tour and all of the nursery staff. Lunch was provided at the nursery along with product information and each visitor was given a tree seedling.

Dee Jordening did a tree themed cookie cutter presentation. She has three rooms of cookie cutters housing a collection of 40,000. She is intrigued with the artwork displayed in a cutter, prefers the unusual and shared numerous examples of intricate design, including some large cutters from Germany. Jordening also shared antique rollers dating from 1915 used to make a round cookie, and spatulas, after all these are important to remove the cookies from the cookie sheet. 

Photo by Christy Porter John and Cheryl Parsons
presented their Aladdin lamp collection to the
Cookie Cutter Collectors Club.
Kim Jordening enjoys traveling along with Dee to the different meetings and conventions, also helping host the conventions. He likes the comradery of the cookie cutter club members and the fact that it is faith-based. Kim shared his story of an acquired cookie cutter, which was produced as a promotional piece by International Harvester. This particular piece, as with many of the corporate promotional pieces, was one of the more expensive but has held its value.

The collectors held an old-fashioned Show and Tell. They shared family treasures, unique cutters and personal stories. Ray Perry from Derby, Kan., shared a book that he, with the help of his wife, Debbie, published. Getting to Know My Cutters by Perry shows examples and gives information on many cookie cutters and the companies that produced them. He touchingly donated a copy of his book to The National Cookie Cutter Historical Museum in Joplin. Several donations were made to the museum during the course of the Show and Tell.

Members willingly shared information about their collections and how they display and store their cutters. Jeanne combines her interests and collections. Wizard of Oz cutters are some she is always on the lookout for. She displays cookie cutters in a barrister bookcase, which has glass doors, as well as in jars, bowls and baskets and in her “doll rooms.” Her favorites are hung up for display and she typically changes them out by season, as does Mae June. Mae June also enjoys her cutters by theme, and displays them in all rooms of her home. She leans towards a nature and animal theme, such as cats, birds, nature and leaves. 

Marilyn Ensz said, “I display my cookie cutters on a shelf below the ceiling molding above my doors in the kitchen. The molding acts a backdrop. They are also displayed in jars. I have 800 cookie cutters in my collection. Those not displayed are stored in storage boxes.”

Licking’s own Tammy Sullins, with My Little Cupcake, spoke at the meeting, sharing her experiences as a small business entrepreneur in a small town. Prior to her talk Saturday afternoon, she brought a basket of acorn-shaped cookies cut with an acorn cookie cutter that Jeff had made for her. She also shared using an ice cream cone shaped cutter, also made by Jeff, upside down and decorating the cookie as a leprechaun. Says Sullins, “Decorating cookies is my favorite art form.” 
Following Tammy’s talk, a raffle was held, more cutter scramble, shopping, making cookie cutters with Jeff and visiting. Dinner was provided by Olig’s BBQ at the Senior Center. 

With such an engaging group of people, it’s easy to understand why Jeff Goris would say, “Often when I mention going to a cookie cutter collectors’ meeting, I get a surprised or strange look. My response is – there is a club for everything! As a tinsmith, maker of cookie cutters, I’ve made many new friends. Our meetings are an excuse for nice folks to get together, have fun, talk about cutters and, oh yes – eat cookies! I refer to my fellow enthusiasts as ‘cookie cutter family.’”



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