As you look at the site, there are most certainly questions that come to mind. You have a couple of options, first, look at the list of most Frequently Asked Questions to see if there have been others who have similar questions. The questions listed are grouped into three main categories RW Products, Events and Membership. If your question is not answered through the Frequently Asked Questions, please contact us.
To bleach or not to bleach….
….that is the question. All pottery collectors have encountered a beautiful piece of pottery, perfect in appearance except for an ugly, greasy stain. Should you attempt to remove the stain, or should you leave it alone and enjoy the piece as is? Is cleaning pottery with bleach safe? Are there better alternatives? Those are the questions to be addressed here.
This article will reflect my experiences with deep cleaning dinnerware and my opinions on the subject. Please understand I am not an expert in this area, I am simply sharing my experiences and opinions with my fellow collectors. Also, my experiences do not include deep cleaning stoneware. In a few months I plan to write a follow-up article after doing research on the scientific and chemical principles involved. In that future article I’d like to include opinions and experiences from other collectors. Please see my contact information below.
The Red Wing Potteries the operated from the late 1800’s until 1967 when the pottery closed had 11 different ovals during their production history. These vintage Red Wing Stoneware pieces will either have the word "Union" or "Potteries" in their ovals. Without one of these two words, the stoneware piece is most likely a reproduction.
Below are some examples of the new potteries in Red Wing markings and logos.
Red Wing Stoneware Pieces
Red Wing Stoneware Co. Logo
Red Wing Pottery
It is possible to use your Red Wing Crock as planter outside with soil as long as it has good drainage. In the bottom of the crock we would recommend either 4 inches of sand and stone on the bottom for drainage or simply place another pot in the crock so water can drain from it into the crock.
As soon as the weather in your area get to be 32 degrees or colder, you need to move the crock inside (not in an unheated garage either). If the crock is not move there is a risk of damage from the water or moist soil. The cold temperature will
freeze the the two and both the water and soil will expand and crack the crock.
The RWCS website or the Ask the Experts service will not give specific advice on how to sell your Red Wing Pottery pieces. However here there are several important factors to consider when selling:
1) Speed of sale
2) Time and effort on your part
3) Price expectations
4) Your location (reaching potential buyers)
Here are several ways a person can sell items, along with pros and cons of that method.
The Ski Oval is generally believed to be the first Oval used by Red Wing. You will find the Ski Oval on stoneware pieces that are decorated with either a red wing or birch leaves. The distinction of a “Ski Oval” is the design located right below the words Red Wing on the oval. It is a marking that looks like a down hill ski. Some collectors attempt to control their collecting by only buying stoneware pieces that have the Ski Ovals. Others are not as disciplined in limiting their buying and collecting.
This is called ‘After the Strike’ dinnerware/art ware. They are the tan-fleck or solid-orange items, regardless of pattern or shape that were ‘sprayed’ as a result of the provisions of the liquidation court order. The court allowed completion of ‘in-process wares’ as a stipulation of the liquidation of the potteries, and became part of the property of Gilmer’s post-Potteries corporation. This was done by ‘a few’ of the Union employees for a few weeks in the Fall/Winter of 1967 as they could not support bringing back enough employees to hand-paint the remaining bisque-ware of each pattern.
You have several resources available to you. On
this web site will be an “Ask the Experts” feature where you can submit
a picture and description of condition, etc. and you will get a
response with a range of value. There are also reference books
available for purchase in book and antique stores or available in your
public library. Most popular are the books written by Ray Reiss about
dinnerware and art pottery. There are also other authors who have
written about Red Wing pottery.
Currently the RWCS sponsors two events, the July Convention and the February MidWinter GetTogether. There are sub-events at MidWinter and July Convention such as the Show and Sale and Educational Seminars. At the July Convention there is a Banquet on Saturday evening as well.