Red Wing Collectors Society to Celebrate 40th Annual Convention – July 7-9

Red Wing, MN – Fads come and go and interests often fade away, so it’s no surprise that very few collectors’ clubs have been around for 40 years. The Red Wing Collectors Society (RWCS), however, bucks the trend. The organization will mark its 40th Annual Convention “Ruby Red Wing” when more than 1000 members assemble in Red Wing during the week of July 4th. The 2016 Convention will kick off a year of celebration, as the club’s 40th anniversary will be recognized in 2017.

RWCS President Larry Birks attributes the club’s long-term success to Red Wing’s diverse product lines and the strong bonds that RWCS members share.

“The stoneware and pottery companies of Red Wing made such a wide variety of wares between 1877 and 1967 that they appeal to collectors of completely different periods,” Birks says. “Whether a person gravitates to country primitives, Arts & Crafts, Art Deco or Mid-Century Modern, Red Wing made it. And as we say, the stoneware and pottery is what first brings collectors to Red Wing and the RWCS, but the camaraderie, friendships and the beautiful City of Red Wing are what keeps them coming back.”

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

The RWCS Convention will unofficially begin on Wednesday, July 6 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, silent and live auctions and live music by local Red Wing band Flatt and Square.

The RWCS Convention officially kicks off the next day with a welcome from the city’s mayor and a keynote presentation on the earthenware made in Whitewater, WI, which predates Red Wing’s earliest salt glaze stoneware by about 20 years. The official RWCS members-only auction, which features more than 250 pieces consigned by members, will take place in the Red Wing High School gym at 4:30 that evening.

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, auctions held on Tuesday and Wednesday, educational seminars and the official RWCS Show & Sale at Red Wing High School that begins for members at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 9. It opens FREE to the public from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

In addition to these activities, the 5th annual Crock Fest celebration will feature music, food and fun from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, July 8 at the Pottery Museum of Red Wing.In addition to its regular displays, the museum will introduce its “General Store” seasonal exhibit to collectors for the first time.

Other Convention activities include a “Crock Hunt” scavenger hunt around Red Wing, the opportunity to create a piece of pottery with local potter Richard Spiller, and a special display room at Red Wing High School 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 7. 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 canteen.

The breakout education sessions scheduled for Friday, July 8 at Red Wing High School will offer some of the most diverse topics in quite some time. The presentations are listed below; check out the “Education Seminars” page on the Convention section of the RWCS website for more detailed descriptions.

• Ebb Tide and Ceramastone, Provincial and Concord line patterns (three different sessions) by RWCS Hall of Famers Terry Moe & Larry Roschen.

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

• Red Wing Art Pottery by Ray Reiss, author of two books on the subject.

• Red Wing Salt Glaze Stoneware (Parts 1 and 2) by RWCS Newsletter Editor Rick Natynski.

• Symbolism on Victorian Era Gravestones by Goodhue County Historical Society Executive Director Dustin Heckman.

• Crafting Beer in the Desirable City: Red Wing’s Brewing History by Scott Kolby, owner and founder of Red Wing Brewery.

• Updates from the Pottery Museum by the RWCS Foundation.

• Privy Digging by RWCS Hall of Famer Steve Showers and fellow digger Mark Youngblood.

• Dump Finds by Red Wing dump diggers Paul Boudin and Connie Mathison.

• Collecting Zinc Glazed Red Wing Stoneware by RWCS Hall of Famer Larry Peterson and Steve Poeschl.

• The River Underground: Finding Red Wing’s Historic Jordan Creek by Goodhue County Historical Society Curator Casey Mathern.

• White Ware & Kitchen Ware From the 1930s by RWCS Hall of Famer Dennis Nygaard.

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. The focus on these RWCS members is an important part of the vision of the Society to ensure its continued existence and growth. There are many interactive and challenging activities and seminars for children ages 3-12 to get involved in, such as learning how to bid at an auction, what to look for in an antique, and several hands-on pottery creation projects.

To further complement KidsView, the RWCS Young Collectors is entering its fourth 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.

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 found on Facebook and followed on Twitter.

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

Richard Spiller will offer #40 and Wing for Hands on Class and Custom order at RWCS Convention

Red Wing, MN – Richard Spiller, RWCS Convention Resident Potter, is getting into the #40 spirt with hands-on classes and items for sale. The 2016 Convention “Ruby Red Wing” will be the 40th time that Red Wing Stoneware, Dinnerware, and Art Pottery Collectors will gather in Red Wing, MN.

The Red Wing Collectors Society and local potter Richard Spiller are once again working together at the RWCS Convention. Spillers Hands on Classes are open to all Convention attendees to try create their own memorable #40 or Wing. A limited number will also be able for purchase and custom order for members as well. In addition to these large #40 and Wings that can be used as door decorations and trivets, smaller version ornaments will be available for purchase. Spiller is also working on wing earrings and tie tacks that will be ready in time for the Convention.

A resident of rural Wisconsin, Spiller was educated at Western Michigan University and the University of Wisconsin – Madison. An Emeritus Professor of Art at Eastern Carolina University, 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 Tozan Noboigama and firing to cone 10 reduction. The RWCS has partnered with Richard Spiller since 2012 offering pottery demonstrations, hands on pottery classes, and other educational opportunities.

The Red Wing Collectors Society 40th Convention is slated for July 7-9 in Red Wing, MN at Red Wing High School. The three-day event includes a members-only auction, educational seminars, pottery and stoneware Show and Sale, Displays and much more. Visit the Convention Page to learn more about events and activities.

The RWCS was founded in 1977 in Red Wing and there are more than 3,000 members worldwide. 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. 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 page on Facebook and follow the group on Twitter at

Goodhue County History Center to Offer Cemetery Walking Tours During Convention #40

The Goodhue County Historical Society would like to offer a special opportunity for members at the Red Wing Collector’s Society Convention this July.  Gather up your friends or your chapter members and schedule a tour of Oakwood Cemetery!  The tour is appropriate for all age levels and would last 90 minutes.  Tours can be scheduled for July 5, 6, 7, or 10.  Tours can start as early as 8 AM or as late as 7 PM.  Alternate dates and times may be scheduled depending on staff availability.  Cost is $10 per adult and $5 for kids aged 18 or under.  A minimum of five people are preferred for tours to be scheduled.


The Oakwood Cemetery in Red Wing has long served the area as a beautiful and peaceful final resting place for loved ones. Tour through a historic section of the cemetery and visit the graves of many notable Red Wing citizens, including Reverend Joseph Hancock and the Civil War hero A.E. Welch. Learn about Victorian mourning practices, cemetery symbolism, and more.  Along the tour, Red Wing Pottery gravestones will be pointed out.


Contact Dustin Heckman, Executive Director, Goodhue County Historical Society at (651) 388-6024 or via email at

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Opportunites to Sell at Convention 2016

Have one great piece or many pieces you would like to sell?

We have TWO opportunities at the Convention!

The RWCS Convention this Summer has two great ways for members to sell at the Convention AUCTION and the SHOW & SALE!

Members Only Auction
Every member has the opportunity to submit to the Convention auction on Thursday, July 7 at Red Wing High School. Scott Hardman, our auction manager, strives to put together a great auction of stoneware, dinnerware, and art pottery each year. Simply fill out the auction submission form and send it to the RWCS Office. Photos can be emailed to Have a question about the Auction? Email Scott at or call 209-602-1461.

Show & Sale
Interested in selling a number of pieces? This opportunity is open to all members! From tables to booth spaces, we have any size to meet your needs. Show & Sale is Saturday, July 9 at Red Wing High School. Simply log on to the RWCS site or fill out the contract and send your payment in – Tables are just $45. Have questions about collecting sales tax the Show & Sale page has quick and easy information how that applies to you. Still have questions, contact the office at 800-977-7927 or

Would you like to see the Auction before the preview opens to members? Would you like to see the Show & Sale before it opens? Volunteering is a way for you to do that. Both Show and Sale and Auction need members to volunteer to support these events and make them successful. Consider signing up for a position today on either the Show and Sale or Auction Volunteer Sign Up Pages today!

Auction Submission and Sellers Contract deadline is May 15; but, the deadline has been extended until May 20th! Please consider participating in one or both of these events at the 2016 RWCS Convention July 7-9 in Red Wing!

RWCS Election Information Out

Cast Your RWCS Election Ballot with the Click of a Mouse

The 2016 RWCS election ballot will be hosted online using Ballotteer and accessible via e-mail to all members in good standing. The e-mail members receive will provide instructions on how to login on the website.

Members must vote for each position up for election in order for their ballot to count.If you did not get an email with your login information please contact the RWCS Office.

The RWCS Representatives at Large will announce the election results during Convention at the RWCS Annual Business Meeting on Friday, July 8. The meeting begins at 3:15 p.m. in the Red Wing High School Auditorium.

The election will be open from April 15 through June 30, 2016. Members who don’t have an e-mail address on file may contact the RWCS business office for a paper ballot by calling 800-977-7927 or e-mailing

RWCS announces MidWinter to Return to Iowa in 2017

RED WING, MN  –  The Red Wing Collectors Society (RWCS) is excited to announce its annual MidWinter GetTogether will return to the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites on Merle Hay Road in Des Moines, February 24-26, 2017.  This is the same location where event was held from 2001 to 2014.

In addition to changing the location, the RWCS has also moved the event to the last weekend of February. Over the past decade, driving conditions and cold temperatures have made it a challenge for many RWCS members to commit to traveling to MidWinter.

“It is our hope that by moving to later in February, the weather will be better and members will travel with confidence to MidWinter in Des Moines next year,” says RWCS President Larry Birks.

The RWCS appreciates the spectacular hospitality of the Badger and Wisconsin chapters during MidWinter’s time in Wisconsin, where the event was held for the past two years. The organization hopes to return to Wisconsin in the future.

“The warm welcome and support of RWCS members in Wisconsin will be remembered by those who attended MidWinter these past two years,” Birks adds.

MidWinter has been an annual event for the RWCS for more than 15 years. It is an opportunity for members to keep their collecting interest and passions burning until the annual RWCS Convention in Red Wing, MN in July. With a theme of “Ruby Red Wing”, the 2016 Convention slated for July 7-9 will celebrate the organization’s 40th Annual Convention.

The RWCS was founded in 1977 in Red Wing and there are more than 3,000 members worldwide. 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. 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 page on Facebook and follow the group on Twitter at

Online Registration Now Open – Mailed Commemoratives May Purchase Accessory Piece this Year

Convention 2016 – Red Wing, MN!

Online Registration is now open!

Just announced members ordering mailed commemoratives will also have the opportunity to order an accessory piece this year to be mailed as well!

The total cost is $72 – commemorative $57 and the accessory $15.

Did you order your mailed commemorative already? Call the office 800-977-7927 to add the accessory today!

The 2016 Convention registration is now open. You can either register online or print out the most current registration form via download.

The RWCS Website is your resource for all Convention new and updates; here are the quick links to get you all the information you need:

Convention Home Page
Auction – information and form
Show and Sale – contracts and floor plan
Display – form and rules

Keep checking the website for updates and more information as Convention draws closer: Education Sessions, Kids View, Young Collectors, Special Events.

NEW Red Wing Event Page
Thinking about heading to Red Wing before Convention? Have a friend interested in visiting Red Wing? Check out the new City of Red Wing page! I have expanded the page to include links to community calendars and resources pages to help you or a friend to plan a getaway to Red Wing, MN.

Don’t forget! Register before April 1st and be in the drawing for ONE of the eighteen 2016 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)

Don’t let another exciting Convention pass you by! Come to the 40th Convention, July 7-9!

Settlement Vindicates Red Wing Collectors Society Foundation in Intellectual Property Dispute with Owners of Red Wing Stoneware and Pottery

Favorable settlement for not-for-profit foundation mandates no financial payout and no adjustment in behavior


MINNEAPOLIS, February 22, 2016—The Red Wing Collectors Society Foundation (RWCS Foundation), the not-for-profit group that operates the Pottery Museum of Red Wing (Minn.), has reached a wholly favorable settlement in its year-long intellectual property dispute with Wells Valley Enterprises Inc., owners of Red Wing Stoneware and Pottery. Under the terms of the settlement, the RWCS Foundation maintains that it has not “infringed any of Wells Valley’s claimed trademarks or committed any other wrongdoing…and has further asserted that Wells Valley’s claims are wholly without merit.” Further, the settlement makes clear that RWCS Foundation may continue to operate without any alteration of its behavior, and will not make any financial payments to Wells Valley.


In a dispute that focused on the city of Red Wing, Minnesota’s history as center for the production of American pottery and stoneware, Wells Valley, owner of Red Wing Stoneware and Pottery, filed a trademark infringement suit against RWCS Foundation. Wells Valley alleged that RWCS Foundation’s use of marks incorporating the term “Red Wing” and graphical marks similar to those used by Wells Valley in its production of pottery and stoneware, infringed on its intellectual property and caused market confusion.


The Foundation rebuked these claims, maintaining that the term “Red Wing”, the “winged logo”, and other markings were commonly used to denote pottery once produced in the City of Red Wing, were not the intellectual property of any one entity, and had been used in some form by a number of other Midwestern and Red Wing, Minn.-based pottery and stoneware producers. The RWCS Foundation further maintained that even if Wells Valley had been able to prove ownership of the name and marks in question, the company’s previous owners had acquiesced to numerous third-party uses in the past, effectively barring Wells Valley from pursuing these infringement claims.


“We’re very pleased that we were able to bring this matter to an appropriate and civil conclusion,” said Christopher Larus, Chair of the IP and Technology Litigation Group at Robins Kaplan LLP, who along with colleague Kristine Tietz represented RWCS Foundation pro bono in this matter. “While the protection of intellectual property rights forms the cornerstone of the American economy, RWCS Foundation did absolutely nothing wrong here, an assertion supported by the favorable settlement we were able to negotiate.”


“The RWCS Foundation takes immense pride in celebrating the City of Red Wing’s long history in pottery production, and we are excited to put this matter in the past and continue to move forward in cooperation with Red Wing’s wonderful pottery and stoneware community,” said David Hallstrom, President of the Red Wing Collectors Society Foundation. “Our museum is a free-to-the-public, volunteer-based organization, whose mission is to preserve the artifacts of the potteries and to educate the public as to the rich history of the clay industries of Red Wing. To that end, our desire is certainly to work in cooperation, not competition with the city’s pottery producers.  We are very grateful to Chris Larus, Kristine Tietz and the entire Robins Kaplan firm for the valuable support they have given our Foundation.”


The case is Wells Valley Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a Red Wing Stoneware and Pottery v. Red Wing Collectors Society Foundation, d/b/a Pottery Museum of Red Wing. A copy of the settlement agreement is available upon request.


Since 2009, more than six percent of the firm’s total billable time has been contributed to pro bono efforts, twice the standard set forth by the Pro Bono Institute. The firm has recently been named to the National Law Journal’s 2016 Pro Bono Hot List, was recognized by Law360 as a top Pro Bono Firm in 2015, and was ranked in the top 10 percent of the Am Law 200 for pro bono work.


About Robins Kaplan®

Robins Kaplan LLP is among the nation’s premier trial law firms, with more than 220 lawyers located in Atlanta; Bismarck, N.D.; Boston; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; Mountain View, Calif.; New York; Naples, Fla.; and Sioux Falls, S.D. The firm litigates, mediates, and arbitrates high-stakes, complex disputes, repeatedly earning national recognition. Firm clients include—as both plaintiffs and defendants—numerous Fortune 500 corporations, emerging-markets companies, entrepreneurs, and individuals.


RED WING, MN – Hundreds of stoneware and pottery collectors will converge upon the Olympia Resort & Conference Center in Oconomowoc, Wis. next month for the Red Wing Collectors Society (RWCS) MidWinter GetTogether. Scheduled for Feb. 5-7, this will be the second year that the event is held in Wisconsin.

The Red Wing Collectors Society is made up of more than 4,000 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 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 weekend – some starting as early as the night of Wednesday, Feb. 3. A formal Show & Sale will run from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6 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 or the classifieds section at 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.

The MidWinter GetTogether includes a number of other organized activities. The theme of this year’s event is “Crocktoberfest”. A German-themed reception featuring food, prizes and fun will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 5. Attendees are welcome to wear lederhosen and other traditional German attire.

Education is also a major focus of the event. Highlighting this year will be a keynote presentation from Wisconsin stoneware collector Peter Maas. A lifelong Milwaukee-area resident, Maas has collected and researched Wisconsin bottles and stoneware for more than 40 years. He’ll discuss and share photos of pieces from a dozen different stoneware/earthenware factories that operated in southern Wisconsin from the 1840s until the 1870s.

In the breakout sessions that follow, RWCS Hall of Fame members Larry Roschen and Terry Moe will present on the Ebb Tide and Ceramastone lines, which were last dinnerware patterns produced by Red Wing. RWCS Newsletter editor Rick Natynski will share his excitement for Red Wing salt glaze, showing pictures of crocks, jugs, churns and water coolers with decorations ranging from the most common to the rarest and most desirable.

In “Social Media, Red Wing and You”, RWCS members Laura Beall and Yoshi Hoffman will cover all the ways the Internet and social media can be used in collecting to keep in touch with friends, find information, discuss your finds and connect with other collectors. Many different platforms will be covered, including Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Come armed with questions, and they’ll answer them! The RWCS Foundation Board will also hold a Q & A session to answer questions about Pottery Museum of Red Wing news and other future projects.

In addition, RWCS KidsView education program chairperson Linda Wipperling will keep with the German theme and feature activities that will teach younger collectors about Red Wing’s first commercial potter, German immigrant John Paul. Participants will even get to create their own personalized root beer mug.

All activities will be held at the Olympia Resort & Conference Center, 1350 Royal Mile Rd. in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, which is off I-94 just 30 minutes west of Milwaukee. Visit to register or learn more about the MidWinter GetTogether.

Feb. 5-6 will be a fun weekend for antique lovers in Southeastern Wisconsin, because in addition to the Red Wing event, the Wisconsin Antiques Dealers Association will hold its 42nd Annual Winter Show at the Waukesha County Expo Center Forum Building in Waukesha, WI – only 15 miles away from the Olympia Resort. For more information about that event, visit

The 40th annual Red Wing Collectors Society Summer Convention is slated for July 7-9 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 4,000 members worldwide. 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