Anderson Center Offers Session on Gas Kiln Firing

“Learn the Art of Gas Kiln Firing”

Anderson Center Weekend Retreat with Richard Spiller

April 7, 8 & 14, 2012

Saturday, April 7
10 a.m. – Orientation, glaze, load and start firing
6 p.m. – Potluck dinner, lecture and discussion

Sunday, April 8
5 a.m. – Continue firing to 2,350°F

Saturday, April 14
10 a.m. – Unbrick and unload kiln

Overnight guests: $135-$180
Day students: $100

Richard Spiller has been a practicing potter and ceramic artist for nearly 50 years. His expertise includes kiln building with firing experience from corn cob raku to a Tozan Noborigama and firing to cone 10 reduction. 

For more information and registration, please contact the Anderson Center: 651-388-2009 or or more information on their website.

35th Anniversary Celebration – Convention, July 12-14

Plans are in place…. The details are being worked out….The 35th Anniversary Celebration is guaranteed be a fun-filled weekend for everyone. If you haven’t been to Convention in awhile, grab a friend and come to Red Wing in July.

Thursday 2012 Anniversary Special Events

8:00 – 9:30 am – Membership breakfast with Charter Member program

10:30 am Convention Keynote OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Hannes Kuehen, former modeler/designer at Red Wing Pottery from 1956 – 1957

Noon – 35th Anniversary Balloon Release – honoring departed members
Noon – 2:00 pm – “Celebrating our History… 35th years later: Now Playing in the High School Commons Area” A lunch & Learn Session featuring: RWCS Member Ron Linde’s interview with famed Red Wing designer Charles Murphy and the 2000 Convention Keynote Session featuring Town & Country designer Eva Ziesel.

2:30 pm – Shared Interest Groups – Come to the Courtyard Cafe’ and share your favorite piece, talk with members who share your collecting interest area, swap stories, share information. There will be groups for stoneware, dinnerware, and art pottery.

FRIDAY 2012 Anniversary Special Events:

8:30 am Time Capsule Burial – Stop at the North Star Monument located at 1811 Old West Main St. in Red Wing to see this event.

At Red Wing High School:
11:00 – 1:30 35th Anniversary Luncheon “Pig Pickin Birthday Party”
12:00 – 1:00 35th Anniversary Cake Cutting, Sponsored by Hanish Bakery

Crock Fest – Friday night, Central Park
5:00 – 9:00 pm Red Wing Central Park

Full Convention Schedule

We’re planning activities that will bring you an exciting new RWCS Convention experience. Let’s kick off the fun with the FREE Welcome Breakfast on Thursday, July 12, in the Red Wing High School Commons. Be sure to RSVP on your Convention registration form so we know that you’re coming. There will be music and a ceremony honoring RWCS Charter Members. What a great way to reconnect with your Red Wing family!

Be sure to stay around after the keynote speaker Thursday for the memorial balloon release honoring departed members of our Red Wing family. Reps at Large Jerry Erdmann and Russa Robinson will coordinate this activity and are looking for volunteers. The Red Wing High School Cafeteria staff is joining in on the celebration by providing a freshly updated lunch menu including options for kids.
The activities on Friday, July 13, will start out early. Join us to commemorate the burial of the RWCS 35th Anniversary Time Capsule. The capsule will be buried at 8:30 a.m. by the North Star Monument located near the AmericInn on Old West Main Street in Red Wing. The 35th Anniversary Committee will soon contact members and chapters for items to be included in the capsule. The 35th Anniversary Time Capsule will be opened on the 50th Anniversary.
The party continues at the Red Wing High School with an old-fashioned anniversary party!!! The high school food service staff will be cookin’ up an old-fashioned Pig-Pickin, Pork & Turkey BBQ with all the fixin’s. More details to come. An anniversary party wouldn’t be complete without a cake. Join us in the high school commons for the anniversary cake cutting ceremony.
The 35th Anniversary Celebration continues Friday night…. Join us at Red Wing’s Central Park from 5 to 9 p.m. for “CROCKFEST” – a festival for the whole family.The 35th Anniversary Committee has partnered with the Red Wing Convention & Visitors Bureau, Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce, Red Wing Downtown Main Street and the Red Wing Arts Association to bring together a festival of food, local artists, a live pottery demonstration and live bands. We’ll have special activities and games for kids including face painting and a special clay modeling area hosted by Scott Gilmer from Red Wing Pottery & Sales. Friday night has traditionally been a time for RWCS Chapter parties. The 35th Anniversary Committee would like to invite the chapters to bring your party to Central Park this year and enjoy the activities. This will be an event you won’t want to miss!!!!

Online Convention Registration Open!


The 2012 Convention will mark the 35th Anniversary of the Red Wing Collectors Society July 12-14 in Red Wing, MN.

Online Registration is now open!  – NO FEES THIS YEAR TO REGISTER ONLINE!

The RWCS Membership Committee is asking each member to fill out 3 short survey questions during online registration. So please take a few moments to answer them for each current member of your household.

The 35th Anniversary Committee is inviting you to two FREE events at the 2012 Convention and we are asking you to tell us how many members in your household will attend these two events via your registration.

Thursday, July 12, 8:00am – 35th Celebration Welcome Breakfast honoring Charter members at High School FREE to registered RWCS Members

Friday, July 13, 5:00pm – Crock Fest – A Celebration of Red Wing pottery for the whole family. Food vendors, music and fun for everyone.

More Celebration activities are in the works so keep checking the website, reading your newsletter, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Information on the RWCS Website Events Page includes:

Schedule of Events

Keep checking the website for updates and more information as Convention draws closer: education sessions, Kids View, Special Events.

Don’t forget! Register before April 1st and be in the drawing for ONE of the eighteen 2012 Special Commemoratives.

Take Action Today and SAVE!

  1. Online: (No FEE to register online)
  2. Phone: 800-977-7927 (Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm CST)
  3. Mail: PO BOX 50, Red Wing, MN, 55066 (download form)
  4. Fax: 651-388-4042 (download form)

Red Wing Collectors Converge on Des Moines, IA

Red Wing Collectors Converge on Des Moines for

7. Although damaged, this 3 gallon Elephant Ear churn still sold for $250 thanks to its upside down “Union Stoneware Co.” oval. Popular among collectors because the oval was incorrectly applied, these oddities are more often found on pieces decorated with the red wing.


DES MOINES – More than 300 Red Wing stoneware and pottery collectors got their winter fix by attending the Red Wing Collectors Society (RWCS) MidWinter GetTogether from Feb. 10-12 at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Des Moines, Ia.

Many attendees sold Red Wing wares from their hotel rooms, arriving as early as Wednesday, Feb. 8 to buy and sell stoneware and pottery, but the event officially kicked off with a reception on the evening of Friday, Feb. 10. The theme of this year’s event was a “1920s Red Wing Speakeasy”, and many members participated by dressing in their best gangster and flapper garb.

This year’s keynote speaker was Dave Hallstrom, president of the RWCS Foundation, who discussed the exciting steps the Foundation is taking to purchase a new space for the Red Wing Pottery Museum. The Foundation is purchasing half of the Pottery Place Annex building located in Red Wing’s historic pottery district, with the Red Wing Area Seniors organization purchasing and occupying the other half. The groups are hoping to close on the property this spring; the Foundation hopes to move the museum into the new space later this year.

Also sharing in the keynote presentation was the RWCS 35th Anniversary Committee, which announced a new slate of activities for this year’s Convention. Scheduled for July 12-14 in Red Wing, Minn., the 35th Anniversary Convention will attract thousands of collectors to Red Wing for a week of educational meetings, auctions, buying, selling and fun for the whole family. A new event called “Crockfest” will headline this year’s Convention. Slated for 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 13 in Red Wing’s Central Park, the large gathering of RWCS members and local residents will include food, local artists, live music, kids’ activities and live pottery demonstrations. For more information about the RWCS 35th Anniversary Convention, visit or call 800-977-7927.

Several educational sessions followed the keynote address, including Red Wing Dinnerware mysteries and reproductions presented by Larry Roschen and Terry Moe, digging in the Red Wing Pottery Dump by Steve Showers, and digging for stoneware and bottles in old outhouse sites by Mark Wiseman.

More than a dozen kids attended the event with their parents, and they enjoyed participating in the KidsView “Pottery of the Roaring 20s” themed educational activities.

The always popular Saturday Show & Sale was followed by an independently sponsored auction, which was once again conducted by Richard and Todd Houghton of Houghton’s Auction Services of Red Wing, Minn. This year’s auction featured a wide variety of pieces for every collector’s taste, including stoneware, dinnerware and art pottery.

5. Hard to find complete with lid, this Red Wing carousel cookie jar sold for $375.

Two of the top stoneware pieces included a grayline cookie jar and a 5 gallon salt glaze leaf crock front-stamped “Red Wing Stoneware Co.” – each sold for $400. A Bob White water cooler and a “King of Tarts” cookie jar each sold for $425, and a dinnerware test glaze plate brought $260.

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. Annual membership costs only $25 and includes six full-color newsletters mailed to your home throughout the year.

Make your plans to attend the 35th Anniversary Convent

ion in Red Wing this summer from July 12-14. For more information or to become a member, call the RWCS business office at 800-977-7927, e-mail or log on to You can also find the RWCS on Facebook or follow the club on Twitter @RWPottery.

3. Auction attendees had the opportunity to buy an instant collection of different-colored ashtrays made to commemorate President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s visit to Red Wing in 1960 to dedicate the Hiawatha Bridge that crosses the Mississippi River into Wisconsin. Sold individually, the green, blue, yellow, purple and red ashtrays sold for a bargain – only $140 combined.2. This 5 gallon leaf crock front-stamped “Red Wing Stoneware Company” was a good buy at $400.

Pottery on the Square Swap Meet, Monmouth, IL

Monmouth, IL

Join Us for “Pottery on the Square”

Celebrating Monmouth, Illinois’ historic tradition of creating quality stoneware and pottery is the idea behind our annual Pottery on the Square Swap Meet event on June 23rd, 2012 starting at 8:00am and running until noon, on Monmouth’s Public Square.  Activities will include a pottery and stoneware swap meet, pottery demonstration, pottery auction, and window displays of rare pottery pieces. 

The pottery/stoneware consignment auction will begin at 10:00am.  The public is welcome to bring vintage items the day of the event for the auction or can register them ahead of time and have them advertised on the auctioneer’s website  Auction fees are 10% for a sale, 3% no sale, and $5 per item or set check in fee.  Swap meet and consignment auction participants are not limited to Illinois pottery, but pottery items must be vintage. 

The pottery appraisal clinic will begin at 8:30am, where knowledgeable Illinois pottery collectors will be on hand to examine pieces of Illinois pottery brought by the public.  Rare items have been seen at the appraiser’s booth and it is exciting to see what prized item might show up.

In conjunction with the event the Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce is offering to the public an opportunity to purchase a handcrafted limited-edition, bristol crock with handles and a Monmouth Pottery Company TM two men in a crock logo.  The crock stands approximately 4 inches tall and measures approximately 3 ¾ inches in diameter.  Orders are currently being taken for the Monmouth Pottery Company crock that will be available the day of the event.  The deadline for orders is May 15th, 2012, and they are priced at $28.  Shipping charges vary based on quantity.

Monmouth Pottery Company was formed on February 1, 1893.  They manufactured all kinds of stoneware and survived a few plant fires.  Monmouth Pottery Company used their name on their products in different fonts and different designs along with various logos.  Then on November 29, 1905 Monmouth Pottery Company was sold and by 1906 was merged with six other pottery companies to form Western Stoneware.

For more information on the event or the commemorative Monmouth Pottery Company crock please contact the Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce at 309-734-3181 or e-mail You may also go to the tourism page of the Chamber’s website,

Red Wing Stoneware & Pottery Collectors to Warm Up Des Moines, Feb. 10-12

Many of those who sell Red Wing stoneware and pottery really get into the spirit when displaying their wares at the RWCS MidWinter GetTogether. This photo of Red Wing greyline / sponge band kitchenware was taken in a couple’s hotel room at last year’s event; they even brought in their own furniture and lighting to showcase their impressive inventory. This year’s event will occur on the weekend of Feb. 10-12 at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Des Moines, IA, with the Show & Sale portion taking place from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11.

RED WING, MN. – Despite the frigid temperatures, Des Moines will get a little warmer when members of the Red Wing Collectors Society (RWCS) join up for the group’s Annual MidWinter GetTogether in Des Moines from Feb. 10-12.

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 will help tie collectors over until the RWCS’ highly anticipated 35th anniversary at the National 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 the “Past, Present and Future of Creating a World-Class Pottery Museum.” The RWCS Foundation made the exciting announcement last month that it signed a purchase agreement for the Pottery Place Annex building in Red Wing, MN to house the new Red Wing Pottery Museum, so the presentation will discuss how the current museum was developed, the process of finding the new location and creating a new museum.

In addition, members of the RWCS 35th Anniversary Committee will unveil the plans for the big July Convention. “Whether you’re a new Red Wing collector or a longtime collector, you won’t want to miss this event,” says committee member Wendy Callicoat. “There will be lots of new activities in celebration of our 35th anniversary.”

More educational sessions will be held for members following the keynote presentations, including a feedback session on the museum’s future, talks on Red Wing dinnerware mysteries and reproductions, an interior decorator’s ideas on decorating with Red Wing, always popular presentations about items dug from the Red Wing Pottery dump and a new presentation on Red Wing dug from old outhouse sites. KidsView will hold “Pottery of the Roaring 20s” themed activities for 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. 10. The theme of this year’s event is “Red Wing Speakeasy”.  Attendees are encouraged to don their gangster suits, fedoras, flapper dresses and pearls 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. 11 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 12-14 in Red Wing, Minn., log on to

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 or log on to You can also join the RWCS on Facebook and follow it on Twitter at

Eva Zeisel, designer of Red Wing Pottery’s Town and Country Dinnerware died December 30, 2011

Eva Zeisel, groundbreaking designer, dies

By , Published: January 1
Washington Post online

Eva Zeisel, who designed and produced stylish but simple lines of tableware that were credited with bringing a sense of serenity to American dinnertime, died Dec. 30 at her home in New City, N.Y.

Mrs. Zeisel was 105 and had come to America just before World War II, after a harrowing series of adventures in the turbulent Europe of the 1930s.

(Cary Conover/For The Washington Post) – Eva Zeisel, shown in her studio in 2001.

Her daughter, Jean Richards, confirmed the death but said she did not know the medical cause.

Mrs. Zeisel was widely regarded as a master of modern design. Her salt and pepper shakers, creamers and ladles are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Yet she resisted being characterized as an artist. “Art has more ego to it than what I do,” she once told the New Yorker.

What Mrs. Zeisel did was create everyday objects that fundamentally changed the look of American kitchens and dining rooms.

She brought “a trained designer’s eye and touch to the kind of inexpensive daily goods that were available to everyone,” said Karen Kettering, vice president for Russian art at Sotheby’s and a former curator at the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens in the District, which featured a retrospective of Mrs. Zeisel’s work in 2005.

Mrs. Zeisel received artistic training in her native Hungary in the years after World War I. She moved to the Soviet Union, where she worked in a factory and, after building a reputation as a talented ceramicist, landed a job as art director of the state-run porcelain and glass industries.

While in that position, Mrs. Zeisel was falsely accused of conspiring to assassinate Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. She spent more than a year in a Soviet prison, much of that time in solitary confinement. Her experience there would deeply inform “Darkness at Noon,” the novel about life under Stalinism written by a childhood friend, Arthur Koestler.

When guards called Mrs. Zeisel from her cell one day, she thought she was about to be executed. Instead, she was released. She fled to Austria, only to be forced to flee again when Adolf Hitler’s Germany annexed that country. Mrs. Zeisel went to England and then to New York, where the design community quickly recognized her talent.

Mrs. Zeisel often said that her work was about the “playful search for beauty.”

Along with some of her contemporary designers, Mrs. Zeisel replaced the florid, gilded style of earlier eras with simple colors. Her most famous table collection from the 1950s is pure white.

Her work often was described with words not usually associated with tableware: human, sensual, voluptuous. Many of her designs are curvaceous and reminiscent of the “feminine midriff,” Kettering said. Mrs. Zeisel designed flower vases with belly buttons. Her bowls were not meant to be stacked but rather to nestle together. Big spoons could be seen as protecting smaller ones.

“All of my work is mother-and-child,” Mrs. Zeisel once said.

Her work reached the height of its popularity during the Cold War. Art critics believe it helped provide a sense of tranquillity during the tensions of the time, Kettering said.

She added that critics have noted a resurgence in the popularity of Mrs. Zeisel’s work since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. A tableware collection from the 1950s was re-released several years ago by Crate and Barrel.

Eva Amalia Striker was born Nov. 13, 1906, in Budapest. She originally trained as a painter but pursued industrial arts, in part to avoid the fate of the starving artist. She was reported to be one of the first female members of the Hungarian guild of chimney sweeps, oven makers, roof tilers, well diggers and potters.

Once in the United States, Mrs. Zeisel broke onto the artistic scene in the 1940s when Castleton China invited her to design a table collection. It would later be displayed at MOMA.

Her first marriage, to Alex Weissberg, ended in divorce. Her second husband, Hans Zeisel, died in 1992 after 54 years of marriage.

Survivors include two children from her second marriage, Jean Richards of New City and John Zeisel of Montreal; and three grandchildren.

Mrs. Zeisel was the author of “Eva Zeisel on Design: The Magic Language of Things.” Her memoir of the Soviet prison is forthcoming, her daughter said.

“I search for beauty,” Mrs. Zeisel told The Washington Post in 2003. “I never wanted to do something grotesque. I never wanted to shock. I wanted my audience to be happy, to be kind.”

News Source: Washington Post

Article also posted in New York Times

Interview aired on Sunday Morning, on January 1, 2012

A Playful Search for Beauty

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