Pottery on the Square Swap Meet Monmouth IL

Join Us Monmouth, IL 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 28th, 2014 starting at 8:00am and running until noon, on Monmouth’s Public Square.  This event also provides a learning opportunity for the aspiring collector.  Activities will include a pottery and stoneware swap meet, pottery demonstration, and window display of rare pottery pieces.

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 mini crock with handles and a Monmouth Pottery Company TM two men in a crock logo.  The mini crock stands approximately 2 ¼ inches tall and 2 inches in diameter.  Each crock is inscribed with 1 of 250 on the bottom along with the Maple City Pottery logo.  Only 250 crocks will be made and are on a first come first serve basis.  Place your order now for the mini crocks that will be available the day of the event.  They are priced at $25 and shipping charges vary based on quantity ordered.

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 Two Men in a crock mini crock please contact the Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce at 309-734-3181 or e-mail amm@monmouthilchamber.com. You may also go to the “Pottery on the Square” page of the Chamber’s website for information and photos from last year’s event, www.monmouthilchamber.com.


Red Wing Stoneware to manufacture the 2014 commemorative

Red Wing, MN – Red Wing Collectors Society (RWCS) Commemorative Manager Bob Morawski has selected Red Wing Stoneware to manufacture the 2014 RWCS Commemorative. Red Wing Pottery will assist with the manufacturing process and will also turn out cobalt-decorated 2 gallon salt glaze water coolers as the special pieces that will be auctioned off to benefit the Society during the club’s annual Convention, July 10-12, 2014.

“I’m excited to work with new owners Bruce and Irene Johnson,” Bob says. “Keeping Red Wing Stoneware and Red Wing Pottery alive and in Red Wing is huge for the community, so this is the perfect time to have them create our Commemorative.”

The Johnsons purchased Red Wing Stoneware from previous owner Tom Woodruff last November and then bought Red Wing Pottery from Scott Gillmer in December. Red Wing Pottery was owned by the Gillmer family ever since former Red Wing Potteries President Richard Gillmer bought out the company’s assets after the Potteries closed in 1967.

“The Johnson’s passion and vision for Red Wing Stoneware and Red Wing Pottery will benefit the RWCS organization, the membership, the community of Red Wing, and so many more,” adds Stacy Wegner, RWCS executive director. “We can’t wait for Convention to see it all in motion.”

Morawski says this will be only the second time in RWCS history that the Commemorative is produced in Red Wing; the Johnsons hope it is the first in a long line of pieces that they make for the club.

“We want to build a long-term relationship with the Society by creating a high-quality Commemorative that’s on time and on budget,” Irene says. “We’re also going to do everything we can to promote the club, because the Society’s success directly impacts us.”

“We strongly feel that working with the Collectors Society will enhance the club’s growth just as it will ours,” Bruce adds. “We include a company flyer with every product that we ship out, and we see a lot of benefit in including information about the Society, as well. Making customers aware of the club’s existence can only increase their interest in pottery and stoneware, which is good for all of us.”

The identity of the RWCS Commemorative is a closely guarded secret every year until the piece is unveiled on the Thursday of Convention Week (July 10). But something that isn’t a secret is the activities and events the Johnsons have in store for all the RWCS members who will visit Red Wing this July.

First, the popular factory tours will continue at Red Wing Stoneware and the Johnsons found a lot of unique pieces when cleaning out storage space, which they plan to sell during Convention Week.

As for the Red Wing Pottery Salesroom, the Johnsons are remodeling the interior and exterior to give it more of a “stoneware and pottery look and feel”. The candy shop will reopen soon along with the Salesroom, but a coffee shop will also be incorporated into the space by the time Convention rolls around in early July. The Loons and Lady Slippers gift shop will reopen around May 1.

“We’re going to have a lot going on at both sites during Convention Week,” Bruce says. “We’ll use this time to unveil our companies’ annual commemorative and perhaps our annual Christmas ornament. In addition, we’d like to set up an area in the Pottery Salesroom to serve as an Antique Roadshow for people to bring in their Red Wing items and chat with Red Wing Collector Society members about it’s history and value.  We will also have some activities going on in the parking lot.”

The Johnsons also plan to open a pottery classroom at the Pottery Salesroom so customers can try their hand at making their own pieces after watching the potters at work as well as provide community education classes.

“We’ve noticed during the factory tours at Red Wing Stoneware that people really enjoy watching the potters hand-turn pieces, and they will often buy a finished example of a piece they watched being made because they’re amazed by all the skill and patience that goes into creating it,” Irene explains. “We’re going to carry that over to the Pottery by giving visitors the chance to try it for themselves.”

The 2014 RWCS Annual Convention, Destination Red Wing, is slated for July 10-12, 2014 in Red Wing MN. To learn more about the annual Convention, or the Red Wing Collectors Society, visit http://www.erwcs.org, find them on Facebook, Pinterest, or follow on Twitter.


RED WING, MN. – Lovers of Red Wing stoneware and pottery will hunt for that next great treasure when they attend the Red Wing Collectors Society’s (RWCS) Annual MidWinter GetTogether in Des Moines from Feb. 7-9.

The RWCS is 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 next RWCS 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.

The RWCS has held its winter event in Des Moines for the past 14 years, but in 2015 and 2016 it will be held at the Olympia Resort & Spa in Oconomowoc, Wis. – about 30 minutes west of downtown Milwaukee. So, collectors in and around Iowa are encouraged to take advantage of their close proximity to Des Moines and attend this February before the event moves to Wisconsin.

The MidWinter GetTogether includes a number of other organized activities like a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7. The theme of this year’s event is “Red Wing Hunter’s Paradise”.  Attendees are encouraged to don their blaze orange and camouflage gear to take part in the fun.

Highlighting this year’s event will be a keynote presentation from RWCS Foundation President Dave Hallstrom, who will talk about all the progress that’s been made at the new Red Wing Pottery Museum in Red Wing. Several years in the making, the first phase of renovations is nearly complete and the new museum will have its grand opening in July during the RWCS Convention.

Mark Wiseman will share a historical description of the potteries that were in business in Eldora, IA from 1860 to 1892. Longtime Red Wing Pottery Dump diggers Dennis Nygaard and Steve Showers will hold separate sessions about their experiences and finds over the years and Larry Roschen and Terry Moe will discuss Red Wing’s True China dinnerware line and recent discoveries. The RWCS Foundation Board will also hold Q&A sessions for attendees who want to learn more about the new Red Wing Pottery Museum. In addition, the RWCS KidsView education program will have fun activities that will teach younger collectors about Red Wing’s wares.

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. 8 followed by an auction at 6 p.m. – both of which are open to the public. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the RWCS Foundation. 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 10-12 in Red Wing, Minn., log on to www.redwingcollectors.org.

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 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.

Photo caption:

Every year, a variety of rare and unexpected treasures show up for sale at the Red Wing Collectors Society’s MidWinter GetTogether. The stoneware and Red Wing Decorator Line art pottery vases in these photos show a sampling of the goodies that were for sale at last year’s affair. This year’s event will occur on the weekend of Feb. 7-9 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. 8.

Give to the Max website access update


The Give to the Max website is overwhelmed at this time with online donations.

Red Wing Collectors Society members wishing to make a donation can still mail them and they will be included as a donation during today’s Give to the Max campaign.

Donations can be mailed to the following address:

Red Wing Collectors Society Foundation
317 Bush St
Red Wing MN 55066

Thank you for supporting the Red Wing Pottery Museum through Give to the Max day.

GIVE TO THE MAX – Support the Museum – NOV. 14

Give to the Max Day is this Thursday, November 14th! This will be The Red Wing Pottery Museum’s third year of participating and we would love to reach our goal of $18,000.

You can help us by clicking on the Give MN logo above; it will take you to our donation page:

This year, we have two matching donations totaling $9,000. The Red Wing Collectors Society has pledged $5,000 dollars in the matching of funds that we receive. Also, the RWCS Foundation Board Members have pledged $4,000 dollars in matching funds. This means that if we can get donations totaling at least $9,000 we get an extra $9,000 for the museum! If everyone could just give a little, just $20, $50, $100 or more then we would be on our way to reach our goal.

PLEASE HELP US. Every donation is important to us and appreciated. You can give any time by clicking on the Give MN logo; it will take you to our donation page. Here you can read about us, click the donate button and it will easily walk you through the process.

If you do not feel secure in using a computer, you can call either Larry Peterson at 612-719-6113, Diane Hallstrom 612-247-9876 or Dave Hallstrom 612-718-0331. All three of us will be set up at the Red Wing YMCA on Thursday starting at 8:30 a.m. and we will be happy to get your information so you can send us a check in the mail.

Please help to make your NEW Red Wing Pottery Museum a must visit destination. Hope to hear from you soon and thank you very much!


Red Wing Collectors Society Foundation Board
Dave Hallstrom, President, Director
Carmen Selfridge, Vice President
Barb Brown, Secretary
Diane Hallstrom, Treasurer, Curator
Wayne Miller
Dave Kuffel
Larry Peterson
Larry Roschen
Louise Schleich
Steve Brown
Sheldon Bohnhoff
Nancy Lambert

8 Gallon Blue-Banded Crock Scores $4,200 at RWCS Convention Auction

Red Wing, MN? An 8 gallon Red Wing blue-banded pantry jar was the top item in this year’s Red Wing Collectors Society (RWCS) Convention Auction on July 11. Thanks to its good condition and the fact that the 8 gallon size is quite hard to find, it drew an impressive $4,200 gavel price.

The RWCS celebrated its 36th Anniversary at this year’s Convention, which brought nearly 1,500 visitors to the city of Red Wing from July 10-13 to buy, sell and learn more about the lines of Red Wing stoneware, art pottery and dinnerware. This year’s event was sponsored by Red Wing Stoneware, Red Wing Pottery, Larry’s Jugs Antiques and Treasure Island Casino.

Other items of interest in this year’s auction, which was operated by Houghton’s Auction Service, included a 2 gallon Elephant Ear Ice Water cooler (hairline), $2,100; 2 gallon “Geno Mfg. Co.” advertising water cooler (mint), $2,100; Red Wing Gray Line cake stand (cracked), $1,300; and a 20 gallon butterfly crock back-stamped “Red Wing
Stoneware Company” (mint), $1,050.

For notable art pottery items, a hard-to-find Red Wing Cleveland Brushed Ware vase sold for $1,200 and a pair of M3014 Decorator Line vases sold for $200 and $325, respectively. A 6.75-inch tall Nokomis glaze elephant sold for $450.

Top dinnerware lots included a large grouping of Town & Country dinnerware for $350 and a 31-piece lot of Ernest Sohn Butter Mold dinnerware for $325. The auction, which consisted of about 190 items, brought more than $58,000 in total sales.

Events throughout the week included the annual business meeting, a “Crock Hunt” scavenger hunt around the historic Mississippi River town, and the always anticipated Saturday Show & Sale. There was also a special display room at Red Wing High School, where members created their own unique displays for the education and enjoyment of attendees, combined with some fun and creative competition. Members bought and sold items throughout the week in the parking lot at Pottery Place Mall. About 200 volunteers helped make this year’s Convention a success. RWCS Members Dennis Nygaard, Steve Showers, Paul Boudin and Connie Mathison officially kicked off the Convention on July 11 with a keynote presentation on digging in the Red Wing Pottery Dump. The Goodhue County Historical Society Museum also got into the act by opening its vault of archives to RWCS members during the week.

To increase funds and support for its new museum space, the RWCS Foundation held “Wine-ing for Red Wing” – an event that featured food and beverages, silent and live auctions and live music by musician Karl Burke. The RWCS Foundation is in the process of renovating the north half of the Pottery Place Annex building to house the new Red Wing Pottery Museum, which is scheduled to open during next year’s RWCS Convention on July 9, 2014. The RWCS Foundation took in more than $30,000 in donations over the course of the week.

The year’s commemorative, which could be purchased only by RWCS members, was a Red Wing stoneware Bulldog figure. Two limited-edition commemoratives were also produced. These were mixed in with the regular commemoratives and all  commemoratives were packaged in sealed boxes, so a small number of members were fortunate enough to get one. Of all the Commemorative Bulldogs that were made, 90 percent were brown, 9 percent were white and black and 37 were two-toned tan. RWCS Commemorative Manager Bob Morawski also had several special items made that were auctioned off to benefit the Society.

Attendees had a good selection of topics to learn about during the educational sessions held on July 12, including an orientation for first timers, Red Wing zinc glaze, Red Wing 101, recent finds from the old pottery dump, Red Wing dinnerware, history of the villages surrounding the Goodhue County clay pits, Red Wing bowls and creating the 2013 RWCS Commemorative. Local potter Richard Spiller and Finnish potter Aba Luostarinen held hands-on pottery classes for adults, and the RWCS Foundation held an info session on all the news surrounding the future Red Wing Pottery Museum. In addition, the 2nd annual Crock Fest celebration featuring food vendors and music by The Crusiers was held at Red Wing’s Central Park later that day. It was sponsored by Maple City Pottery.

Another unique aspect of the RWCS Convention was 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. Many interactive and challenging activities and seminars were offered for children of all ages, such as learning how to bid at an auction, what to look for in an antique, and several hands-on pottery creation projects. KidsView Co-Chairs Sue Tagliapetra and Aarika Floyd announced at the annual business meeting at the end of the week that they were stepping down from their roles after many combined years of service. They were given a standing ovation from those in attendance.

Young Red Wing collectors ages 13 to 20 participated in the Young Collectors Club at Convention. Activities included a hands-on pottery wheel opportunity led by RWCS Member Frank Sheldon, and a hike up Red Wing’s famed Barn Bluff. The Young Collectors Club recently announced that participants can be eligible for a college
scholarship by participating in club activities and earning participation points. Contact program chairperson Wendy Callicoat at crocks701@aol.com for more information.

The next official RWCS event will be the annual MidWinter GetTogether, which will be held in Des Moines Feb. 6-8, 2014.

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 about 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 director@redwingcollectors.org or log on to www.RedWingCollectors.org. Find the RWCS on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


RWCS members vote to increase membership dues

Red Wing Collectors Society Members Dues Increase

Primary $35, Associate $15

There is still time to renew your membership before the dues increase goes into effect on Thursday, August 1. Renew now at the current rates.

It has been over 10 years since the RWCS membership dues were increased. At the Annual Business Meeting held Friday, July 12 at Red Wing High School during the 2013 Convention, the RWCS Board presented the proposed increase published in the RWCS Newsletter along with the increasing costs of running the Society to the members attending the meeting. By vast majority the attending members voted to increase dues by $10 for both primary and associate memberships. This gives the RWCS Board of Directors the budget authority to increase membership fees for both primary and associate by $10.

The RWCS Board voted to increase PRIMARY membership to $35 and ASSOCIATE membership only by $5 to $15.

Red Wing Collectors Society dues beginning Thursday, August 1, 2013 will be:

  • Primary annual membership: $35
  • Associate annual membership: $15

Members have the opportunity to renew at the CURRENT membership rates ($25 primary and $10 associate) through midnight Wednesday, July 31. Here are they ways you can renew:

  1. Online: www.RedWingCollectors.org (No FEE to renew online)
  2. Phone: 800-977-7927 (Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm CST)
  3. Mail – RWCS, PO BOX 50, RED WING MN 55066

Renew today and save!

2013 Convention Commemorative Announced

As done in recent years, the Red Wing Collectors Society once again produced three different versions of the Commemorative in 2013. Versions A and B respectively made up 90 and 9 percent of the total production. Only 37 pieces of the Version C Commemorative were made to match the Convention’s 37th Anniversary. Members did not know which version they would receive until they opened their box at Convention or received their piece in the mail.

The 2013 Commemorative is a Red Wing Stoneware Bulldog. Red Wing’s animals date back to the mid 1880s. The bulldogs were listed in an 1885 company price list as selling for 18 cents each. Some speculate that they were intended to be toys.

Version A is the standard Red Wing brown Albany slip color. Versions B and C are glazed to match colors that are occasionally found on the bulldog. Version B is white with black highlights. Version C is two-toned brown.

An original Red Wing bulldog was used as the model to make the master mold. Thus, when the Commemoratives came out of the mold, they were the same size as the original dog. Once fired, they ended up being about 15 percent smaller than the original due to clay drying and shrinking.

The Special Commemorative is a completely handmade cow and calf statue. These were originally sold for 40 cents according to the 1885 price list. Eighteen Specials were crafted; half are Albany slip brown and signed “Red Wing Collectors Society” and the other half are white with black spots and are unsigned. All are back-stamped “RWCS July 11-13, 2013.” The white and black versions were given out as awards for display winners. The brown versions were given away as prizes and various drawings. One of each was also silent-auctioned in the Commemorative Room.

KidsView commissioned 15 bulldogs. The KidsView pieces are white with colored polka dots. These pieces were auctioned off in a variety of ways with the proceeds supporting KidsView.

For the first time in the history of the RWCS, the Society commissioned an accessory piece to complement the 2013 Commemorative. Also made by Maple City Pottery, the premium piece was a replica of the dog food dish once made by the Red Wing Potteries. These were only available to members who attended Convention; they could be preordered for $10 and a limited quantity was available for purchase onsite for $15.

There is still time to join the Red Wing Collectors Society and order the 2013 RWCS Commemorative. Join today.