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 www.houghtonauctions.com or the classifieds section at www.redwingcollectors.org. 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 www.redwingcollectors.org 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 www.wisconsinantiquedealers.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.