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RED WING, MN. – After a long seven plus months since its annual summer convention, members of the Red Wing Collectors Society (RWCS) will meet up for the group’s Annual MidWinter GetTogether in Des Moines from Feb. 11-13.
The RWCS is the organization devoted to those who collect a diverse line of crocks, jugs, churns, dinnerware and art pottery manufactured in Red Wing from the 1880s to 1960s. Hundreds of people from around the country are expected to attend the February event, which serves as a precursor and helps tie collectors over until the annual national RWCS Convention in Red Wing in July. These two events serve as great opportunities for members to buy and sell Red Wing and learn about the history of the potteries that once operated in Red Wing, their diverse production lines and the impact they had on the American pottery industry.
Highlighting this year’s event will be a keynote presentation on stoneware fakes by RWCS Member Larry Birks at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 12. Birks, who is the president of the RWCS Trails West Chapter centered in Missouri and Kansas, has made it his mission in recent years to alert fellow collectors on the fake advertising stoneware being made that has fooled even some advanced collectors. He will show examples of old stoneware with newly applied advertising, discuss how it’s being made and share tips on how to identify it.
“There are a few dishonest individuals out there who are placing new advertising stamps on old stoneware and passing it off as the real thing,” Birks explains. “While we might not be able to stop these pieces from being made, we can prevent people from getting fooled into buying them by helping them learn how to identify them.”
More educational sessions will be held for members fo
llowing Birks’ presentation, including talks on Red Wing bowls, Red Wing dinnerware paper memorabilia, RWCS Foundation news, Maple City Pottery’s salt glaze process and using Facebook to share Red Wing-related news. KidsView activities will also be held for the younger collectors to participate in.
The MidWinter GetTogether includes a number of other organized activities like a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 11. The theme of this year’s event is “Hillbilly Hoedown”. Attendees are encouraged to bring their straw hats and overalls to take part in the fun.
Many attendees sell Red Wing wares from their hotel rooms during the MidWinter GetTogether. A formal Show & Sale will run from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 12 followed by an auction at 6 p.m. – both of which are open to the public. Whether you’re new to collecting Red Wing or an experienced collector, there’s something for everyone at the MidWinter GetTogether.
All activities will be held at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, 4800 Merle Hay Road, in Des Moines, Iowa. For more information on the MidWinter GetTogether, or the annual Red Wing Collectors Society Summer Convention, which is slated for July 7-9 in Red Wing, Minn., log on to www.redwingcollectors.org
Annual membership in the Red Wing Collectors Society costs only $25 and includes six 16-page full-color newsletters mailed to your home throughout the year. The Red Wing Collectors Society was founded in 1977 in Red Wing, Minn. and is devoted to educating people about all American pottery. There are more than 4,000 members worldwide. The Red Wing Potteries had diverse pottery lines that included stoneware, dinnerware and art pottery. For more information or to become a member, call the RWCS business office at 800-977-7927, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.redwingcollectors.org
. You can also join the RWCS on Facebook and follow it on Twitter at twitter.com/RWpottery.