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RED WING, MN – After holding a very successful MidWinter event in the Quad Cities for the first time last year, the Red Wing Collectors Society is returning for more in 2020. Hundreds of stoneware and pottery collectors will converge upon the Isle Resort and Casino in Bettendorf, IA Feb. 28 – March 1.
Founded in 1977, the RWCS is composed of 3,000 members worldwide who collect stoneware crocks, jugs, churns, dinnerware and art pottery manufactured in Red Wing from the 1880s to 1960s.
The RWCS MidWinter event is focused around buying, selling, education and fun with old and new friends alike. It will kick off with a Friday night social for attendees in the hotel’s Salon B ballroom from 6 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 28. But many attendees will start selling stoneware and pottery from their hotel rooms in the north tower well before that – some starting as early as Tuesday, Feb. 25. A formal Show & Sale will run from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 29 followed by an auction at 4:30 p.m. – both of which are open to the public. More information about the auction 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 MidWinter event. Starting at 8:15 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 29, RWCS Hall of Famer Steve Brown will give a keynote presentation titled “A Reflection of Minnesota Culture: The Red Wing Potteries”. Steve will provide a glimpse into how Red Wing’s clay industry transformed its product lines to meet the changing needs of society. He will present a collage of vintage postcard images to show how products were used and to enhance our appreciation of the items that collectors enjoy today. As a past member of the RWCS Board of Directors, Steve served as RWCS Historian for 16 years – 14 of which were also spent representing the club on the RWCS Foundation Board. He and his wife, Barb, were inducted into the RWCS Hall of Fame at the 2019 RWCS Convention.
After that, the following 50-minute education sessions will begin at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., separated by a 10-minute break:
- “Whiteware, Bricks, and Broken Banks” by Dennis Nygaard. A member of the RWCS Hall of Fame and longtime Red Wing pottery dump digger, Dennis will review his recent digging with flair and stories from the past. He’ll cover Red Wing’s use of white clay in stoneware production, discuss the more than 50 different manufactured fire bricks he found in the Red Wing Sewer Pipe dump, and conclude by sharing the shards and story of the “Dime Savings Bank” Red Wing made for the 1893 World’s Fair.
- “How to Set Up a Stellar Display at Convention” by Laura Beall. Have you ever thought about displaying at the RWCS July Convention, but aren’t sure how to do it? As former Convention Display chairperson and a longtime RWCS member, Laura will walk you through the process of selecting an interesting and winning theme. She’ll also cover how to safely pack items and how to artfully present your display for maximum effect. She’ll also discuss the rules of having a Convention Display. Laura has displayed and won many times, so her tips and experience will surely help you put together a good display.
- “The Village Green Dinnerware Line” (continuous session) by Terry Moe & Larry Roschen. Experts in the field of Red Wing dinnerware, both Terry and Larry are RWCS Hall of Famers. They. first presented a seminar on the Village Green line in 2007. This seminar will revisit Village Green and other patterns in the line, with additional photos and information discovered since then. Village Wheat, the Provincial bakeware set and items produced for Ernest Sohn will also be covered. This seminar will be presented over two sessions, each with different content.
All activities will be held at the Isle Casino Hotel at 1800 Isle Parkway in Bettendorf, IA. Visit www.erwcs.org to register or learn more about the annual RWCS MidWinter event.
MidWinter will help tie collectors over until the 44nd annual Red Wing Collectors Society Summer Convention, which slated for July 9-11 in Red Wing, MN. Annual membership in the RWCS costs only $35 and includes five 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 651-388-4004, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.erwcs.org. You can also join the RWCS on Facebook and follow it on Twitter at @RWCollectors.