MidWinter 2011 – Additional House Available

MidWinter 2011

February 11-13, 2011

Housing Update

Red Wing, MN – The Holiday Inn and Suites is sold out for the 2011 MidWinter. Additional house is available just across the Holiday Inn Parking Lot at the Super 8 Merle Hay; here are the details:

Super 8 Merle Hay
5900 Sutton Place
Urbandale, Iowa 50322

Phone:  515-270-1037 or 800-821-5297
They will be offering a rate of $69++.
For more information on the MidWinter GetTogether, please visit our events page or call 800-977-7927 or email director@redwingcollectors.org.

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Red Wing Stoneware & Pottery Collectors To Meet In Des Moines, February 11-13

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 membership@redwingcollectors.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.

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2010 Convention Auction results released

2010 RWCS Member Only

Convention Auction Prices Realized


Red Wing, MN – The Red Wing Collectors Society officially releases the 2010 members only Convention auction results today.

The RWCS holds its annual members only auction in conjunction with the Annual Convention in Red Wing, MN – July 8-10, 2010. The auction featured over 300 lots of Red Wing, MN stoneware, dinnerware, art pottery, along with RWCS and Chapter commemoratives. To read more about the 2010 Convention click here.

2010 RWCS Members Only Convention Auction Prices Realized PDF

The RWCS has held their annual convention for over 30 years. The event includes: education sessions, annual commemorative, kids activities, show and sale, social events and so much more. To learn more about the RWCS Convention – click here.

Interested in submitting to the 2011 auction at the 35th Annual Convention in Red Wing, MN – July 7-9 – click here to learn more about the auction. To be eligible for the auction, you must be a member and you or another member must bring the piece to convention. All members attending the convention and the auction must be registered.

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Red Wing Sewer Pipe Garage torned down

Sewer tile garage is now history

Red Wing Republican Eagle – Published October 12 2010
By Ruth Nerhaugen

It’s gone, but won’t be forgotten. On Sunday, Peter Jacobs tore down his unique garage made of conduit tile from the old Red Wing Sewer Pipe Co. factory that once operated just over the hill from his West Sixth Street home.

It’s gone, but won’t be forgotten.

On Sunday, Peter Jacobs tore down his unique garage made of conduit tile from the old Red Wing Sewer Pipe Co. factory that once operated just over the hill from his West Sixth Street home.

But first, the garage was documented and videotaped for possible inclusion in a new book or public television program.

Cathy Wurzer, a host of new Twin Cities Public Television’s “Almanac” and Minnesota Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” was at the site Saturday with a videographer, Jacobs said.

She is considering a sequel to her “Tales of the Road: Highway 61” project, which was published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press and also released as a video.

“The first edition did not include the clay works of Red Wing,” Jacobs said. Wurzer indicated a second volume probably would include both the Red Wing pottery and sewer pipe industries.

Few structures made of sewer pipe have been found aboveground. There’s a shed with a couple of walls on 21st Street, and a wall of a Red Wing Shoe Co. building on the east side, but nothing else quite like Jacobs’ building.

It was a two-story structure, with a garage at ground level and a walk-out garden shed below. The exterior walls were the same vivid red-orange as the day the garage was built, probably in the 1920s or ‘30s.


Safety issues

But while the conduit tile was as sturdy as ever, the wood floor, roof and support structure had deteriorated and it was not safe to use the 20-by-20-foot square building. The Portland cement holding the blocks together was crumbling as well.

Last fall Jacobs determined he needed to replace it with a usable garage, and began looking for a buyer for the 3-foot-long, vitreous tile blocks.

Despite interest in the historical aspect of the garage, he found no takers.

Wurzer, a member of the Red Wing Collectors Society, learned about the sewer tile garage through that organization and came to document its story as part of Red Wing’s industrial history.

The next day, it came down.

“It’s gone,” Jacobs said. But it wasn’t easy.

“We had a rotten pillar,” he explained, so he put a chain on it, hooked it up to a four-wheel-drive pickup and pulled it away.

“Nothing moved,” Jacobs said. So he got in a Bobcat and started pushing the walls in.

He’s stacking the 70-pound blocks and chipping off the mortar; most are still intact. Disassembling the building revealed that all of the blocks are stamped “RED WING.”

By the end of the week, Jacobs hopes to have some of the 200-plus conduit tile blocks for sale on Craig’s List. People also can contact him online at rwfolks@gmail.com to talk about them or make an offer.

But one way or another, he doesn’t plan to keep them around for long.

He’s got a garage to build, a solar-engineered building he can actually use.

It’ll stand in the same spot as the sewer tile garage. And it’ll do double duty as a historical marker, because Jacobs plans to leave some of the blocks underground — like buried treasure, perhaps to be rediscovered by a future generation of archeologists.

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