Pottery Museum Grand Opening and Sale of 70 Gallon Jug Highlight 2014 Red Wing Collectors Society Convention

Red Wing, MN? In most years, reporting that a 70 gallon Red Wing jug sold for $17,000 at the Red Wing Collectors Society (RWCS) Auction would be big news in itself. But pair that with the grand opening of the new Pottery Museum of Red Wing, and you have one of the most memorable RWCS Conventions ever.

Much to the enjoyment of more than 400 attendees, the RWCS Foundation proudly opened the doors to the new Pottery Museum on Wednesday, July 8 during a ribbon-cutting ceremony and fundraising event. The 13,000 sq. ft. facility, which is located in the Pottery Place Annex building at 240 Harrison St. in Red Wing, has more than 6,000 pieces of Red Wing stoneware and pottery on display – largely in thanks to the donation of longtime RWCS member Louise Schleich and her late husband, Jerry. The couple created a museum to display their collection in Lincoln, Neb. many years ago, but it was always their intention to move the collection to Red Wing once a permanent, adequately sized location could be acquired.

The 38th Annual RWCS Convention officially kicked off the next day, with the Schleich Family presenting the keynote address at Red Wing High School. They discussed their longtime passion for collecting and the process of moving the collection back to where it was made.

This year’s Convention brought nearly 1,500 visitors to the city of Red Wing during the week of July 7 to buy, sell and learn more about the many 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 other local businesses.

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.

As mentioned earlier, the “big” news from the always anticipated RWCS Convention Auction was that a 70 gallon shoulder jug sold for $17,000. The jug, which had been restored, is one of only three that the Red Wing Stoneware Co. made for the 1923 Minnesota State Fair. Only one other of these jugs is known to have survived, and it is now part of the Pottery Museum’s collection; it was one of the pieces donated by the Schleich Family.

Other items of interest in this year’s auction, which was operated by Houghton’s Auction Service, included a 4 gallon salt glaze crock with triple target decoration (hairline), $5,000; a 4 gallon North Star salt glaze water cooler with upturned leaf (mint), $2,000 and a mint “Minne-ha-ha Brand” advertising crock, $1,900; Two 1977 (first-year) RWCS Commemoratives sold for $1,150 and $1,050, respectively.”

Notable art pottery items included a blue/green #687 Chromoline vase, $650, and an M3016 Decorator Line vase in silver green glaze, $400. Top dinnerware lots included two sample Red Wing dinnerware plates. One that was likely made for Sheraton Hotels in the 1960s sold for $525, while another with the Turtle Dove pattern sold for $340. The auction, which consisted of about 190 items, brought in nearly $78,000 in total sales.

The year’s commemorative, which could be purchased only by RWCS members, was a Red Wing Success Filter. 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 Success Filters that were made, 90 percent were zinc glaze with a red wing, 9 percent were salt glaze and 38 were blue-sponged. 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 11, including an orientation for first timers, Red Wing zinc glaze, recent finds from the old pottery dump, Red Wing dinnerware, kiln building, insuring your collection, history of Iowa’s Eldora Potteries  and creating the 2013 RWCS Commemorative. Local potter Richard Spiller held hands-on pottery classes for adults, and the RWCS Foundation held an info session on all the happenings at the new Pottery Museum.

In recognition for all the research they have performed and knowledge they have shared on Red Wing’s many lines of dinnerware, longtime friends and RWCS Members Larry Roschen and Terry Moe were inducted into the RWCS Hall of Fame later that afternoon during the Annual Business Meeting. In addition, it was announced that the following members were elected to the RWCS Board of Directors: Larry Birks (President), Paul Wichert (Vice President) Dan Beck (Treasurer) Nancy Lambert (Historian) and Jerry Mounts (Rep. at Large). Re-elected to the Board were John Sagat (Secretary) and Russa Robinson (Rep. at Large). Following the meeting, the 3nd annual Crock Fest celebration featuring food vendors and music by Generation was held at Red Wing’s Central Park later that day. It was sponsored by Red Wing Stoneware and Red Wing 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. Former Red Wing Potteries employee Marion Bjorklund told the kids about her time working as a plate painter, and Emily Nelson (Red Wing Art Reach) and Susan Obermeyer (Northern Clay Center) lead the kids in hands-on art projects and pottery creations.

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 Members Frank Sheldon and Mike Robinson, and a hike up Red Wing’s famed Barn Bluff. Young Collectors Club creator and chairperson Wendy Callicoat announced the during the Annual Business Meeting that she was stepping down from her role. The RWCS is now in search of members to lead KidsView and Young Collectors.

The next official RWCS event will be the annual MidWinter GetTogether, which will be held at the Olympia Resort and Spa in Oconomowoc, Wis., February 6-8, 2015. This will be the first time the event is held in Wisconsin after a long stint in Iowa. To make lodging reservations, contact the Olympia Resort at 800-558-9573. Registration for the MidWinter event will open in October and can be done online at the RWCS website or by phone or mail.

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.

Mailed Commemorative Shipping Status

Red Wing, MN – The 2014 Red Wing Collectors Society Commemoratives started shipping Friday, August 15th, and will be shipping in small groups through Tuesday, August 26th via US Postal Service Priority Mail.

Members who ordered a commemorative should receive their piece by September 2nd.

Terry Moe & Larry Roschen inducted into RWCS Hall of Fame during 2014 Convention

Red Wing, MN – Terry Moe and Larry Roschen were inducted in to the Red Wing Collectors Society Hall of Fame at the 2014 Convention during the Annual Business Meeting on Friday, July 11.

Terry Moe and Larry Roschen were recognized for their contribution in the area of Red Wing Dinnerware The Red Wing Collectors Society Hall of Fame was officially established in 1991. The honorees are individuals who have made a major positive impact in the collecting, preservation and/or education of stoneware and pottery made by Red Wing companies. These members are nominated by the membership and voted on by the Board of Directors. Inductees are given a plaque and recognized with a ceremony during the RWCS Convention Annual Business Meeting.

Terry Moe – 2014

Terry Moe of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Red Wing Collectors Society Member #5933 inducted into the Red Wing Collectors Society Hall of Fame this 11th day of July, 2014 in recognition of these lifetime achievements:

  • Joined the RWCS in 1991
  • Convention and MidWinter Educational Seminar presenter since 1999
  • Donor to the Red Wing Collectors Society Foundation Museum
  • Member of the RWCS Iowa Chapter
  • RWCS Website Ask the Experts dinnerware expert
  • Numerous RWCS Newsletter articles
  • Co-Author of RWCS Newsletter series “Intro to Dinnerware”

Terry Moe has tirelessly researched original Red Wing Pottery dinnerware source documents. His research has been published in RWCS Newsletter articles and other publications. Terry co-authored with Larry Roschen the RWCS Newsletter article series “Intro to Dinnerware” which has become the current cornerstone of Red Wing Dinnerware knowledge. In addition, Terry has shared his knowledge with RWCS membership through numerous Dinnerware Educational Seminars at both RWCS Convention and MidWinter. Terry’s commitment to advancing members dinnerware knowledge has greatly enhanced and expanded the RWCS members understanding and appreciation of the dinnerware produced in Red Wing. The RWCS is delighted to welcome Terry Moe into the RWCS Hall of Fame.

Larry Roschen – 2014

Larry Roschen of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, Red Wing Collectors Society Member #949, inducted into the Red Wing Collectors Society Hall of Fame this 11th day of July, 2014 in recognition of these lifetime achievements:

  • Joined the RWCS in 1980
  • Convention Educational Seminar presenter since the mid 1980’s
  • RWCS Commemorative Manager 1993-2000
  • RWCS Foundation Board Member 2009- Present
  • Donor to the Red Wing Collectors Society Foundation Museum
  • Gopher Chapter member since 1980
  • Gopher Chapter President 1984-1986, Commemorative Manager 1990-1992 and 2001-2011, Vice President 2002-2006, Secretary 2006 – Present
  • Founding RWCS Website Ask the Expert for Dinnerware since 2005
  • RWCS Newsletter Contributor
  • Co-Author of RWCS Newsletter series “Intro to Dinnerware”

Larry Roschen’s curation and research of original Red Wing Pottery source documents has uncovered significant findings about Red Wing Dinnerware. He has shared this information in the RWCS Newsletter and other publications. Larry co-authored with Terry Moe the RWCS Newsletter article series “Intro to Dinnerware” which has become the current cornerstone of Red Wing Dinnerware knowledge. In addition, he has shared his knowledge through countless Dinnerware educational seminars at both Convention and MidWinter. Larry’s responses to the RWCS “Ask the Experts” web service have become a web- based reference for Red Wing Dinnerware. By sharing his knowledge he greatly enhanced the understanding and appreciation of the dinnerware produced in Red Wing. The RWCS is delighted to welcome Larry Roschen into the RWCS Hall of Fame.

The RWCS Hall of Fame inductees can be seen on the Hall of Fame Page.

2014 Convention Commemorative

The 2014 Red Wing Collectors Society Commemorative is a Success Filter with lid. First produced in Red Wing in 1894, they came in two sizes – 4 gallons for home use and 10 gallons for hotel use. The upper crock contains a natural stone filter that collects the impurities in the water, thus leaving the user with clean water in the bottom crock. Production of filters was phased out in the 1930s.

The RWCS produced three different versions of its commemorative in 2014. Version A is zinc glazed and decorated with a RWCS ad and red wing. Version B is salt glazed with a cobalt ad. Version C is the seldom seen blue sponged Success Filter.

Version A is 90% of total production, Version B is 9% and Version C is 38 pieces to match the Convention’s anniversary. Members did not know which version they received until opening their box at Convention or receiving it in the mail.

The lower crock is ink-stamped “RWCS July 10-12, 2014” on the bottom. The crocks were cast in a four-piece mold and the lid was pressed. The decorative toggling on the crocks was built into the mold. All commemoratives were produced by the Red Wing Stoneware Co. The Version B pieces were salt glazed at Red Wing Pottery. Both potteries are under single ownership. This is only the second time in the history of the club that the commemorative was made in Red Wing. The first time was 2007. There were no potteries actively producing stoneware in Red Wing when the club started in 1977.

For the second-straight year, the RWCS also offered an accessory piece that could be purchased only by members who attended the Convention. The 2014 accessory piece is a stoneware riser with decorative toggling that the Success Filter rested on top of, allowing users to fit a mug under its spigot when dispensing water. It was produced by the Red Wing Stoneware Co. and cast in a six-piece mold. A limited number of risers were made in zinc glaze, salt glaze and blue sponge.

The RWCS Special Commemorative is a German Spittoon. Eighteen spittoons were hand-turned on the wheel. The toggling was applied by hand. Half the spittoons are zinc glazed and half are salt glazed. All have an Albany slip interior and all are ink-stamped “RWCS July 10-12, 2014”. The zinc pieces were given away to display winners. The salt glaze version was used for prizes and various drawings. One of each was also silent auctioned in the Commemorative Room during Convention.

A limited number of filters were also specially made for KidsView. The pieces are zinc glaze and have various color handprints randomly stamped on them. The pieces were auctioned and proceeds went to KidsView.

Convention Attendee Reminders

2014 Convention Attendees!

We are just a week away from the Convention and the grand opening of the Pottery Museum of Red Wing! I am sure many of you are already packing your bags and cars right now.

The RWCS Website and the Convention Supplement are your sources for all your convention information. Here are the links to plan your Convention Experience:



Crock Hunt – Starts Friday, July 4 until Saturday, July 12

Checking out the City of Red Wing shops, eateries and sights? Many of them are on the Crock Hunt. Join the fun! Download the form, grab the supplement, or pick one up at the sites. No matter how many sites you get to you will be included in the prize drawings

Wednesday, July 9

  • 7:00 am RWCS Board Meeting – NEW LOCATION – Pottery Place Annex (watch for signs)
  • 11:00 am – 4:00 pm Pre-registered pick up inside Pottery Place Annex
  • RWCS Foundation Events
  • 5:45pm  Pottery Museum Grand Opening Ribbon cutting
  • 6:00 pm– 9:00pm – WINE-ing for Red Wing, FRIEND-raising Pottery Museum of Red Wing

Thursday, July 10

  • Hands on Pottery Classes at Red Wing High School – With Richard Spiller $40 – spots still available
  • Keynote: Pottery Museum of Red Wing presented by RWCS Foundation special presenter Louise Schleich
  • Visit the Vault – Goodhue County Historical Society behind the scenes tour
  • 1:00 – 4:00 TWO Commemorative Distribution locations Red Wing High School and Red Wing Stoneware (you must have your badge and voucher to pick up at Red Wing Stoneware)

Friday, July 11

  • Hands on Pottery Classes at Red Wing High School – With Richard Spiller $40 – spots still available
  • Crock Fest sponsored by Red Wing Pottery and Red Wing Stoneware – 5pm to 9pm – Central Park, Downtown Red Wing
    Limited edition Crock Fest Pieces available from Red Wing Pottery and Red Wing Stoneware in the Park

Other Convention information links:

  • About the Event Page
  • Auction – Thursday
  • Kids View – Thursday and Friday
  • Young Collectors – Thursday and Friday
  • Education – Great New sessions offered this year on Friday
  • Shared Interest Groups – connect with other collectors stop in the cafeteria Thursday afternoon!
  • Display – Check them out every day of the Convention
  • Show and Sale – Saturday Morning
  • Banquet – Saturday Night at the Pottery Museum– tickets still available
    –   5:30 Social at Players Sports Bar and Grill (formally Provenzano’s)
    –   6:30 Dinner in the Annex (follow the signs)

Information about the City of Red Wing:

Attention Attendees here are some special offers to include in your Convention experience:

  • Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce: Guest Pass – Available at registration. On this card will be special offers or promotions from participating businesses.
  • Goodhue County Historical Society – Free entrance to museum during Convention Week to all RWCS members, just show your badge. Visit the Historical Society to see their very large collection of Red Wing pottery and stoneware and learn about Goodhue County history.

One last reminder; don’t forget to bring your red badge holder and volunteer pin! I am looking forward to seeing all of you in Red Wing. Safe travels!

Vault tours offered once again at the Goodhue County History Center during Convention

Goodhue County Historical Society Second Annual Vault Tours!

Red Wing, MN – The Goodhue County Historical Society will once againg give RWCS Convention attendees backroom access during the 2014 Convention Destination Red Wing slated for July 10-12, 2014 at Red Wing High School.

On Thursday, July 10, 2013, ours will be offered at 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30, 3, and 3:30.  Participants will need to arrive at least 15 minutes early.  We are going to limit each tour to 15 people.  Participants should register at the front desk upon arrival and may peruse the exhibits while waiting for their time slot. 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.,

Red Wing Collectors Society convention attendees have an exclusive opportunity to visit the Goodhue County History Center’s “vault” where their collection artifacts, including Red Wing Pottery pieces, are stored.  This is a great chance to view unique pottery pieces that have not been on exhibit recently.  The event is free with a convention badge.  Donations to help cover the costs of preserving the collections are appreciated.

The Goodhue County Historical Society will also be participating in the 2014 Convention Crock Hunt. The Crock Hunt begins Friday, July 4 and is open to everyone. Completed forms can be turned in at the Membership booth at the RWCS Convention Show and Sale on Saturday July 12 from 10:30 to 1:30. Show and Sale is free and open to the public.

The History Center is located at 1166 Oak Street, Red Wing.  For more information, call (651) 388-6024 or e-mail jlgrothe@qwestoffice.net

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.