2017 Red Wing Collectors Society Commemorative has been unveiled!

Red Wing, MN – The 2017 Red Wing Collectors Society Commemorative has been unveiled! This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Red Wing Collectors Society, so it’s fitting that 40 gallon crocks were produced as this year’s RWCS Commemorative. Three versions were produced. Version A made up 90 percent of total production, Version B covered 9 percent and 40 Version C pieces were made to match the club’s anniversary. Members received versions at random at Convention and in the mail.

Except for a single salt glaze example that exists, Red Wing only made 40 gallon crocks during the zinc glaze era. The large crocks were popular in the soda and chemical industries, but could also be used for making wine, pickles and sauerkraut.

Version A has three decorations: “40”, wing and oval; “40”, birch leaves and oval; and “40”, elephant ears and oval. The member can choose which decoration to display with the other decorations not visible from the front. Version B has advertising from two companies: San Francisco’s John Mulhern Co. and Prell Mercantile Company of Bremen, KS. Once again the member can choose which ad to display with the other on the back of the crock. Version C is a transition crock with two hand-decorated cobalt leaves. All crocks came with a lid.

The crocks are bottom ink-stamped “RWCS 40th Anniversary 1977-2017”. Crocks and lids were pressed at Rowe Pottery in Cambridge, WI.

The RWCS also commissioned Rowe Pottery to produce a Koverwate to serve as the 2017 accessory piece. These could be purchased at Convention or via mail.

The Special Commemorative is a 40 gallon self draining jar. The self draining jars were also used in the soda and chemical industries. Eighteen specials were made. Half were decorated with a “40”, self draining logo and wing, while the other nine have a “40” and advertising for H.C. Schranck Co. of Milwaukee. The wing versions were given as awards for display winners. The Milwaukee advertising versions were used as prizes in various drawings at Convention. One of each was silent auctioned in the Commemorative Room at Convention.

Twelve crocks were decorated with multi-color handprints to represent KidsView and the Young Collectors programs. These crocks were auctioned at Convention and MidWinter, with the proceeds benefiting the youth programs.

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2017 Convention Attendee Information

Greetings 2017 Convention Attendees!

We are just a week away from the Convention and the excitement of going Back to the Future. I am sure many of you are already packing your bags and cars right now.

The RWCS Website and the Convention Supplement are your sources for all your Convention information. Here are the links to plan your Convention Experience:

Schedule – See the latest times and locations for all the events and activities.

crockhunt2017.jpgCrock Hunt – Starts  July 1 and runs through Saturday, July 8. Discover new places to eat, shop, and see in Red Wing, MN. Join your fellow members and check the 12 participating businesses.

Wednesday, July 5

  • 7:00 am RWCS Board Meeting – Minnesota State College Southeast
  • 11:00 am – 3:00 pm Pre-registered pick up – Pottery Museum of Red Wing
    • Be sure to pick up your Convention Supplement
  • Pottery Museum of Red Wing Events
    • 6:00 pm– 9:00pm – WINE-ing for Red Wing Pottery Museum of Red Wing

Thursday, July 6 – Minnesota State College Southeast (308 Pioneer Road)

  • Commemorative Unveiled
  • Keynote: Collectors Through the Decades
  • 40th Celebration following keynote
    • Charter Member recognition
  • T-shirt and Tile Pick up at College Only
  • Chapter Meetings
  • Young Collectors
  • AUCTION at the RED WING NATIONAL GUARD ARMORY (885 E 7th St)
    • Viewing at 3:00 pm
    • Live auction at 4:30 pm
    • Concessions by Goodhue County Historical Society
    • Parking and Shuttle from Minnesota Correctional Facility watch for signs

Friday, July 7 – Minnesota State College Southeast

Saturday, July 8Red Wing National Guard Armory

  • Show and Sale – Saturday, concessions by Goodhue County Historical Society
    • Parking and Shuttle from Minnesota Correctional Facility watch for signs
  • Banquet – Saturday Night at Mount Frontenac Golf Course– tickets still available
  • T-shirt, Tile, and Commemorative Pick Up

Other Convention links

  • Display – Thursday and Friday at the College
  • Chapter 40 display
  • Chapter Challenge Silent Auction

Information about the City of Red Wing:

  • Things to do in Red Wing – Coming for the 4th of July or looking for other events in Red Wing? There’s events like amateur baseball games, ice cream socials and concerts in the park!
  • PIONEER ROAD IS CLOSED FOR A ROUND ABOUT INSTALLATION BY THE MIDDLE SCHOOL. When heading to the College please go through downtown Red Wing.
  • Directions to Events – Includes information on finding the Minnesota State College and the Red Wing National Guard Armory.
  • City of Red Wing Information – All the links to City of Red Wing tourism and visitor information

One last reminder; don’t forget to bring your red badge holder and volunteer pin! I am looking forward to seeing all of you in Red Wing. Safe travels!

SEE YOU SOON COLLECTORS!

Stacy Wegner
Executive Director

Greetings 2017 Convention Attendees!

We are just a week away from the Convention and the excitement of going Back to the Future. I am sure many of you are already packing your bags and cars right now.

The RWCS Website and the Convention Supplement are your sources for all your Convention information. Here are the links to plan your Convention Experience:

Schedule – See the latest times and locations for all the events and activities.

crockhunt2017.jpgCrock Hunt – Starts  July 1 and runs through Saturday, July 8. Discover new places to eat, shop, and see in Red Wing, MN. Join your fellow members and check the 12 participating businesses.

Wednesday, July 5

  • 7:00 am RWCS Board Meeting – Minnesota State College Southeast
  • 11:00 am – 3:00 pm Pre-registered pick up – Pottery Museum of Red Wing
    • Be sure to pick up your Convention Supplement
  • Pottery Museum of Red Wing Events
    • 6:00 pm– 9:00pm – WINE-ing for Red Wing Pottery Museum of Red Wing

Thursday, July 6 – Minnesota State College Southeast (308 Pioneer Road)

  • Commemorative Unveiled
  • Keynote: Collectors Through the Decades
  • 40th Celebration following keynote
    • Charter Member recognition
  • T-shirt and Tile Pick up at College Only
  • Chapter Meetings
  • Young Collectors
  • AUCTION at the RED WING NATIONAL GUARD ARMORY (885 E 7th St)
    • Viewing at 3:00 pm
    • Live auction at 4:30 pm
    • Concessions by Goodhue County Historical Society
    • Parking and Shuttle from Minnesota Correctional Facility watch for signs

Friday, July 7 – Minnesota State College Southeast

Saturday, July 8Red Wing National Guard Armory

  • Show and Sale – Saturday, concessions by Goodhue County Historical Society
    • Parking and Shuttle from Minnesota Correctional Facility watch for signs
  • Banquet – Saturday Night at Mount Frontenac Golf Course– tickets still available
  • T-shirt, Tile, and Commemorative Pick Up

Other Convention links

  • Display – Thursday and Friday at the College
  • Chapter 40 display
  • Chapter Challenge Silent Auction

Information about the City of Red Wing:

  • Things to do in Red Wing – Coming for the 4th of July or looking for other events in Red Wing? There’s events like amateur baseball games, ice cream socials and concerts in the park!
  • PIONEER ROAD IS CLOSED FOR A ROUND ABOUT INSTALLATION BY THE MIDDLE SCHOOL. When heading to the College please go through downtown Red Wing.
  • Directions to Events – Includes information on finding the Minnesota State College and the Red Wing National Guard Armory.
  • City of Red Wing Information – All the links to City of Red Wing tourism and visitor information

One last reminder; don’t forget to bring your red badge holder and volunteer pin! I am looking forward to seeing all of you in Red Wing. Safe travels!

Best regards,

Stacy Wegner
Executive Director

Great Pieces to be Auctioned During Red Wing Collectors Society 40th Anniversary Convention – July 6-8

 

Red Wing, MN – A signed Red Wing 10 gallon butterfly-decorated salt glaze water cooler, a “Holy Water” cooler and a coveted Potters Excursion jug are just a few of the impressive pieces highlighting the official members-only auction at the Red Wing Collectors Society Convention, July 6-8 in Red Wing.

 

The RWCS will celebrate its 40th Anniversary at this year’s Convention, which will unofficially begin on Wednesday, July 5 when the RWCS Foundation holds its “Wine-ing for Red Wing” fundraiser from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Pottery Museum of Red Wing at 240 Harrison Street, Red Wing. Admission for the fundraising event is $20; it will feature food and beverages, and silent and live auctions.

 

The RWCS Convention officially kicks off the next day with a welcome from the city’s mayor and a special 40th Anniversary Keynote Address at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 6 at the Minnesota State College Southeast campus at 308 Pioneer Road in Red Wing. RWCS Historian Nancy Lambert has assembled a group of nearly a dozen RWCS collectors representing the past 40 years that will share insight into their passion for collecting and fond memories as members of the Society. Then RWCS Charter Members will be recognized and a special 40th Anniversary celebration for members will follow at noon in the college’s cafeteria.

 

The official RWCS members-only auction*, which features more than 250 pieces consigned by members, will take place at 4:30 that evening at the Red Wing National Guard Armory at 885 E 7th Street in Red Wing. Onsite registration will be available to become a member. The auction preview will be open from 3 to 4:15 p.m. this year. Catalogs are for sale for $5 in advance at the Pottery Museum of Red Wing or can be purchased at the auction itself.

 

RWCS members will also have their lineup of usual favorites to attend during Convention, including street sales held at Red Wing’s historic Pottery Place, other stoneware and pottery auctions held on Tuesday and Wednesday, educational seminars and the official RWCS Show & Sale at the Red Wing National Guard Armory that begins for members at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 8 It opens FREE to the public from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. In addition to these activities, a “Crock Hop” celebration will feature music, food and fun from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, July 7 at the Pottery Museum of Red Wing.

 

Other Convention activities include a “Crock Hunt” scavenger hunt around Red Wing, pottery demonstrations by local potter Richard Spiller, and a special display room at Minnesota State College Southeast campus where members create their own unique displays of Red Wing items for the education and enjoyment of attendees.

 

An annual commemorative will be unveiled and distributed to members beginning Thursday, July 6. The commemorative piece is a closely guarded secret and there is much speculation as to what the piece will be each year. It is a miniature replica of a Red Wing pottery item with a limited number made. Last year’s commemorative was a stoneware advertising mini jug.

Breakout education sessions scheduled for Friday, July 7 at the Minnesota State College Southeast campus will offer a great selection of diverse topics. The presentations are listed below; check out the “Education Seminars” page on the Convention section of the RWCS website for more detailed descriptions.

 

• The Journey of Collecting Red Wing by RWCS Hall of Famer Larry Peterson.

• Is That Right? Aftermarket Dinnerware & Art Pottery by Laura Beall.

• Stoneware Fruit Jars by Marv Juel.

• Digging Historic Privies and Dumps by RWCS Hall of Famer Steve Showers and his wife, Phyllis.

• Dump Finds by Red Wing Dump Diggers Paul Boudin & Connie Mathison.

• Early Colfax Springs History and Stoneware by Mark C. Wiseman.

• Divided Minnesota, Divided Goodhue County: the WWI Years by Fred Johnson.

• 19th Century Base Ball History and Fun Facts by Doug Ernst.

• Ceramics Conservator by Jin Crimando, Pottery Museum of Red Wing Inventory Specialist.

• Back to the Futura and Dinnerware Odds & Ends, Mid 1950s to Mid 1960s (two different presentations) by RWCS Hall of Famers Terry Moe & Larry Roschen.

• Red Wing Cinema: A Video of Red Wing Designer Eva Zeisel’s 2000 RWCS Convention Keynote Presentation.

 

Another unique aspect of the RWCS Convention is the participation of the younger generation through the KidsView program. The Society is on the leading edge of creating engaging and educational ways to get the younger generations involved in collecting. Children ages 3-12 will have several hands-on pottery creation projects and a Kids’ Show & Sale to participate in at the Minnesota State College Southeast campus from 9:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, July 7.

 

To further complement KidsView, the RWCS Young Collectors is entering its 5th year of helping Red Wing collectors ages 13 to 20 grow their interest in Red Wing. This is a great opportunity to learn more about Red Wing, develop new friendships through peer-to-peer discussion groups and participate in hands-on activities. Young Collectors activities will begin at the Minnesota State College Southeast campus at 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 6. Participants will also take a field trip to the Pottery Museum of Red Wing and return to the college around noon.

To learn more about all the events and activities of the RWCS Convention, visit the RWCS website event page for the Convention.

 

The RWCS can also be followed on Twitter and be found on Facebook. Like most antique collecting clubs, attracting young new collectors has been a challenge for the RWCS. A bright spot in the organizations recruiting efforts has come through the RWCS Facebook Chapter, which is a highly active page where recent finds are shared, questions are answered and pieces are bought and sold by new and advanced collectors alike. To join the conversation, visit www.facebook.com/groups/RWCSChapter/.
* Registering onsite to attend the RWCS Convention costs $35 per person; kids 15 and under are free. Annual membership in the Red Wing Collectors Society also costs $35 and includes full-color newsletters mailed to your home throughout the year. The RWCS was founded in 1977 in Red Wing and there are more than 3,000 members worldwide. For more information or to become a member, call the RWCS business office at 800-977-7927, e-mail membership@redwingcollectors.org or log on to www.redwingcollectors.org. You can also join the RWCS on Facebook and follow it on Twitter at @RWCollectors.

RWCS Announces 40th Anniversary Plans

Red Wing, Minn – Happy 40th Anniversary, fellow Red Wing Collectors! Be sure to attend this year’s Convention in Red Wing July 6-8. We will kick off the anniversary celebration on Thursday, July 6 with a very special panel of collectors who will present this year’s keynote address, sharing some personal and fun experiences as members of RWCS. We will also honor the RWCS charter members in attendance followed by a fun anniversary get-together in the Minnesota State College Southeast commons area at NOON. Don’t miss the Friday evening Crock Hop in Potters Hall at the Pottery Museum from 5 to 6:30 p.m.Traditional root beer floats and refreshments will be served along with a visit from Doc and Marty. A “Back in Time Scavenger Hunt” in the museutilem along with door prizes at “Lou’s Café” will be too fun to miss!

Don’t forget to order the special anniversary tile on your Convention registration form – they are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and can be mailed to your home.

 

 


Official RWCS Convention T-shirt  – Order by June 6
Celebrate the RWCS 40th Anniversary in style with your very own “Back to the Future” RWCS Convention T-shirt! These custom-designed shirts can be ordered online.  The shirts are $14.98 each and they will be available for pickup at the July Convention in Red Wing. Shirts sizes 2XL and up are subject to an additional charge. The order deadline is June 6. A small number of shirts might be available to purchase onsite, but the only way to guarantee yourself a shirt is to pre-order. All proceeds will benefit the RWCS.

 


Share how your Red Wing Journey Began
The RWCS 40th Anniversary is a great time to reminisce about that first piece of stoneware, art pottery or dinnerware that began our quests in collecting. Many collectors recently shared stories on Facebook about how they acquired their first piece of Red Wing clay. Regardless of whether it was a common piece or a rare find, we all remember how we got started. Please send your story Nancy Lambert, RWCS Historian, along with a photo of the item if you wish. Lambert will put it all together into a booklet – not only for some fun reading of cool stories, but also to have the stories as a part of the Red Wing Collectors Society archives. Whether the clay piece was Red Wing or not, whether it was a lucky find or a gift from a family member, the unique and individual stories will be a treat for us all. Please submit your story by May 15 to be a part of this 40th Anniversary project! E-mail your story and photo to me at historian@redwingcollectors.org.

In addition to members attending the Convention will receive a special cloisonné commemorative pins celebrating the 40th Anniversary. All of this plus special displays and memorabilia will be a part of the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Red Wing Collectors Society! Register today!

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RED WING MIDWINTER EVENT RETURNS TO IOWA

RED WING, MN – Hundreds of stoneware and pottery collectors will return to the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites in Des Moines, Iowa for the Red Wing Collectors Society (RWCS) MidWinter GetTogether, Feb. 24-26.

“We are excited to be back in Des Moines, Iowa for our MidWinter and to kick off out 40th Anniversary celebration for the Red Wing Collectors Society,” says Stacy Wegner, RWCS executive director. “Anybody who’s interested in collecting Red Wing should come out and see what we’re all about. Our members will have tons of great pieces for sale and it’s a great opportunity to learn from and network with fellow collectors. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!”

The Red Wing Collectors Society is made up of more than 3,000 members worldwide who collect stoneware crocks, jugs, churns, dinnerware and art pottery manufactured in Red Wing from the 1880s to 1960s. The February event helps tie collectors over until the next RWCS National Convention in Red Wing in July. Both events serve as great opportunities for members to connect over 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.

As with any large antique event, the opportunity to buy and sell is top of mind for

Why is the Red Wing Collectors Society one of the largest organized stoneware and pottery collectors clubs in the nation? Variety! The potteries made a wide range of wares during the industry’s 90-year history in Red Wing. From utilitarian stoneware, to functional dinnerware and decorative art pottery, Red Wing’s products appeal to collectors and decorators of all tastes. Pieces like the ones pictured here are sure to be offered for sale at the club’s 2017 MidWinter GetTogether at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites on Merle Hay Road in Des Moines, IA, Feb. 24-26.

collectors and dealers. In this case, the RWCS MidWinter GetTogether never disappoints. Many attendees will prop open their doors and sell Red Wing wares from their hotel rooms during the event – some starting as early as the night of Tuesday, Feb. 21. A formal Show & Sale will run from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24 followed by an auction at 5 p.m. – both of which are open to the public. Auction proceeds will benefit the Pottery Museum of Red Wing and more information can be found at www.houghtonauctions.com. Whether you’re new to collecting Red Wing or an experienced collector, anyone and everyone is invited to attend this fun event and find a new piece for their collection.

Education is also a major focus of the event. The RWCS will give a keynote presentation on the Society’s 40th anniversary and breakout sessions will follow. RWCS Hall of Fame members Larry Roschen and Terry Moe will present on the Red Wing Dinnerware Mysteries & Reproduction. Mark Wiseman will present on Early Colfax Springs History and Stoneware. Bean Pot collecting has also become a hot interest topic so Yoshi Hoffman will his knowledge and passion for collecting them.

The RWCS recently recognized its first online chapter – the Red Wing Collectors Society Facebook Chapter. A special session with tips and tricks and a Q&A session for members will be led by chapter board member Yoshi Hoffman.

In addition, the RWCS KidsView education program will focus on the RWCS 40th and the Red Wing Potteries anniversary celebration in 1953. Participants will create their own 40 project to put on display at the July Convention and learn about Red Wing Potteries Anniversary dinnerware and art pottery, along with lots of other activities to help celebrate.

All activities will be held at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites at 4800 Merle Hay Rd in Des Moines, Iowa, which is located at the intersection of I-35 and I-80 in Des Moines. Visit www.ERWCS.org to register or learn more about the MidWinter GetTogether.

Feb. 24-26 will be a fun weekend for antique lovers in Iowa, because in addition to the Red Wing event, there are several antique malls and indoor flea markets to visit.

The 41st annual Red Wing Collectors Society Summer Convention is slated for July 6-8 in Red Wing, MN. Annual membership in the Red Wing Collectors Society costs only $35 and includes six 16-page full-color newsletters mailed to your home throughout the year. The RWCS was founded in 1977 in Red Wing and there are more than 3,000 members worldwide. For more information or to become a member, call the RWCS business office at 800-977-7927, e-mail membership@redwingcollectors.org or log on to www.ERWCS.org. You can also join the RWCS on Facebook and follow it on Twitter at @RWCollectors

2017 RWCS Convention to be Held at Minnesota State College Southeast’s Red Wing campus

2017 RWCS Convention to be Held at Minnesota State College Southeast’s Red Wing campus

Minnesota State College Southeast Red Wing

RED WING, MN – The Red Wing Collectors Society Annual Convention, July 6-8, 2017 will do some “time traveling”  when the RWCS celebrates its 40th Anniversary. The 2017 Convention will feature a new location: the Minnesota State College Southeast Red Wing campus.

The Red Wing School District informed the RWCS this fall that due to facility improvements and upgrades, Red Wing High School won’t be available to host the Annual RWCS Convention in 2017 or 2018. We can’t thank the district enough for its past support, as the high school has been a great facility for our event and the staff has been a pleasure to work with since we started holding the Convention there in 1996.

The move to the local college presents a perfect theme for the 40th Anniversary – “Back to the Future” – as the RWCS held its Convention there from 1979 to 1995. Members who attended in those years have fond memories of what was then called the “VoTech”.

“The college is excited to host the RWCS Convention in 2017,” said Katie Hardyman, Director of Business Relations at Minnesota State College Southeast. “I am excited to be working with the Red Wing Collectors again!” Hardyman is very familiar with the RWCS Convention, as she once served as the group’s membership services staff person. In addition, she also was an employee of the RWCS Foundation prior to joining the college.

The campus has since been renovated and will serve as an excellent venue for activities like educational sessions, hands-on pottery classes, Commemorative distribution and the always popular Convention Display Room. The only events that Minnesota State College Southeast can’t accommodate are the official RWCS Convention Auction on Thursday, July 6 and the Convention Show & Sale on Saturday, July 8. The RWCS is close to finalizing a new location for these activities and will provide an update as soon as possible.

Nancy Lambert, RWCS Historian and Anniversary Committee Chair, has been busy already planning for the 40th Anniversary celebration with a freshened event schedule as well as the anniversary attendee pin members have come to enjoy. The RWCS has commissioned Scott Draves of Door Pottery to once again create a tile for the club’s milestone event. All RWCS members will have the opportunity to order the tile on their Convention order forms in the February RWCS Newsletter. This unique piece will be offered in addition to the annual Convention commemorative that the organization’s Commemorative Manager, Bob Morawski is busy finalizing.

RWCS members are encouraged to attend MidWinter, February 24-16, 2017 in Des Moines, IA to get all the latest information on Convention! Lambert and Stacy Wegner, RWCS Executive Director, will share more details about the 2017 Convention during the event’s keynote presentation.

Annual membership in the Red Wing Collectors Society costs only $35 and includes six 16-page full-color newsletters mailed to your home throughout the year. The RWCS was founded in 1977 in Red Wing and there are more than 3,000 members worldwide. For more information or to become a member, call the RWCS business office at 800-977-7927, e-mail membership@redwingcollectors.org or log on to www.redwingcollectors.org. You can also follow the RWCS on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RedWingCollectorsSociety and Twitter at @RWCollectors.

Red Wing Bean Pot Database now available on the RWCS Website to members!

Red Wing, Minn – RWCS member Kent Williamson has graciously shared his Red Wing Bean Pot inventory list with the RWCS members.

As RWCS members read in the October issue Williamson, an enthusiastic collector of advertising bean pots, began indexing Red Wing advertising bean pots. His personal collection includes 300 examples and through the RWCS Facebook Chapter he began collecting a state by state list of Red Wing Advertising bean pots this spring. To learn more about the information collection task check out the newsletter tab on the Members only section and select the PDF of the October 2016 Issue.

Through the help of over 20 people, this list is growing and reaches nearly 500 advertising bean pots. RWCS member can now access this list right her on the RWCS website in three easy steps.

  1. Log on the site with your membership number and password
  2. Hover over the Members Only menu header.
  3. Move your curser down to the Resource tab.

If you have another index, inventory list, or catalog of another Red Wing production line such as Advertising Beater Jar or Mixing Bowls, please let us and it can be posted on the resource.

RWCS Convention Display Winners!

Red Wing, MN – This year marked the 40th Convention of the RWCS. The article below and photos were reported in the August 2016 Issue of the RWCS Newsletter.

The RWCS Board of Directors wishes to thank outgoing Display Chair Laura Beall and her family for supporting the Display room for all these years. Laura Beall has been involved in Display for 13 years either on the display committee or as chair. Beall was instrumental in guiding display to the standards and program we have today.

At this time the RWCS would also like to announce that Tyler Green, a young member from South Dakota has agreed to serve as Display Chair in 2017. Tyler can be reached at 605-251-9944 or email at display@redwingcollectors.org

CHICAGO ADVERTISING JUG HITS $9500 AT RED WING CONVENTION AUCTION

Red Wing, MN – A lot of great pieces have been sold at the Red Wing Collectors Society’s (RWCS) Convention Auction during the club’s 40-year history. This year didn’t disappoint, with the top earner being a 5 gallon Red Wing beehive jug with blue birch leaves and advertising for Straus Bros. Wholesale Liquors of Chicago. Two aggressive bidders pushed it most of the way to its $9500 gavel price.

At $2,200, a 6 gallon transitional Ice Water cooler with a Union Stoneware oval and a “Red Wing Stoneware Company” front stamp was a distant runner-up in the July 7 auction, which totaled just shy of $60,000 in total sales.

But the club’s official auction wasn’t the only source of excitement during the 40th Annual RWCS Convention, which attracted more than 1,000 visitors to Red Wing, MN during the week of July 4. Two independent auctions and the RWCS Foundation’s 5th Annual “Wine-ing for Red Wing” fundraiser took place before the convention even officially opened. Highlighting the Foundation’s event was a ceremony that celebrated paying off the mortgage of the building that houses the Pottery Museum of Red Wing. This year, the event generated nearly $14,000 in proceeds for the museum.

This Convention also boasted one of the best educational lineups in the event’s 40-year history. Attendees had 15 different educational sessions to choose from, with in-depth presentations given on a wide range of Red Wing’s stoneware and dinnerware products, finds from the pottery dump and after-market creations. Local history was also covered, including sessions on Red Wing’s rich brewing history, the city’s underground river – Jordan Creek – and symbolism of Victorian era gravestones in Red Wing’s Oakwood Cemetery. Local potter Richard Spiller also offered hands-on pottery classes for attendees.

Another unique aspect of the RWCS Convention is the participation of the younger generation through the KidsView and Young Collectors programs. The focus on these RWCS members is an important part of the vision of the Society to ensure its continued existence and growth. More than 50 kids and young adults participated in the interactive and challenging activities this year, which included learning how to haggle with dealers, how to bid at an auction, what to look for in an antique, and several hands-on pottery creation projects.

At the Society’s annual business meeting on Friday, July 8, Larry Birks (president), John Sagat (secretary) and Glenn Beall (education manager) were recognized for their years of service on the RWCS Board of Directors, while Paul Wichert, Angela Shefveland and Michelle Weisen were announced as their elected replacements.

The club also officially recognized the new RWCS Facebook Chapter as its 17th chapter. Like most antique collecting clubs, attracting young new collectors has been a challenge for the RWCS. But the RWCS Facebook Chapter has been a bright spot in the organization’s recruiting efforts. This is a highly active page where recent finds are shared, questions are answered and pieces are bought and sold by new and advanced collectors alike. To join the conversation, visit www.facebook.com/groups/RWCSChapter.

Later that day, the 5th annual RWCS Crock Fest celebration featured music, food and fun at the Pottery Museum of Red Wing. In addition to its regular displays, the museum officially introduced its “General Store” seasonal exhibit to collectors for the first time. The final day of Convention Week featured the RWCS Show & Sale on Saturday, July 9, followed by the RWCS Banquet later in the evening.

The next RWCS event is its Annual MidWinter GetTogether, which will be held at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites on Merle Hay Road in Des Moines, February 24-26, 2017.  Visit the club’s website for more information.

Annual membership in the Red Wing Collectors Society costs only $35 and includes six 16-page full-color newsletters mailed to your home throughout the year. The RWCS was founded in 1977 in Red Wing and there are more than 4,000 members worldwide. For more information or to become a member, call the RWCS business office at 800-977-7927, e-mail membership@redwingcollectors.org or log on to www.redwingcollectors.org. You can also follow the RWCS on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RedWingCollectorsSociety and Twitter at @RWCollectors.

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