A display of Red Wing stoneware crocks. The Red Wing Collectors Society’s annual convention will take place July 10-12 in Red Wing, Minn.
RED WING, Minn. – Every year, the Red Wing Collectors Society’s annual convention proves to be a great time for those who collect the stoneware, art pottery and dinnerware that was produced in Minnesota’s beautiful, historic Mississippi River town. But this year’s Convention—which will take place July 10-12 in Red Wing, Minn. —will feature a special event: the grand opening of the new Red Wing Pottery Museum.
“Whether you have a casual interest in Red Wing stoneware and pottery, or you’re a die-hard collector, this is one of the best years to attend the RWCS Convention,” said RWCS Executive Director Stacy Wegner. “From the RWCS Foundation’s new museum opening to all the other activities we have scheduled, attendees are sure to have a memorable experience.”
The museum’s grand opening celebration will be held in conjunction with the RWCS Foundation’s “Wine-ing for Red Wing” fundraiser from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, July 9, at the new museum, which is located at the Pottery Place Annex at 240 Harrison St. in Red Wing. The event will feature food and beverages, silent and live auctions and live music by musician Karl Burke.
The RWCS Convention officially kicks off the next day with a welcome from the city’s mayor and a keynote presentation on the new museum by RWCS Foundation Board members from 10:30 to noon at Red Wing High School’s Hove Auditorium, 2451 Eagle Ridge Dr. This year’s theme is “Destination Red Wing” and the event’s major sponsors include Red Wing Pottery, Red Wing Stoneware and Larry’s Jugs Antiques.
In addition to these activities, RWCS members have their lineup of usual favorites to attend during Convention, including street sales held throughout the community, a string of auctions highlighted by the always popular RWCS Thursday Night Auction at Red Wing High School, educational seminars and the official RWCS Show & Sale at Red Wing High School that begins for members at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 12. It opens free to the public from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Other major activities include a “Crock Hunt” scavenger hunt around Red Wing and the 3rd annual Crockfest celebration sponsored by Red Wing Pottery and Red Wing Stoneware. It will feature music, food and fun from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 11, at Red Wing’s Central Park. Attendees have the opportunity to create their own piece of pottery with local potter Richard Spiller, and there is also a special display room at Red Wing High School, where members create their own unique displays for the education and enjoyment of attendees, combined with some fun and creative competition.
An annual commemorative will be unveiled and distributed to members beginning Thursday, July 10. The commemorative piece is a closely guarded secret and there is much speculation as to what the piece will be each year. It is a miniature replica of a Red Wing pottery item with a limited number made. Last year’s commemorative—a stoneware bulldog figure—was well-received by the membership.
The Red Wing Pottery Museum’s Grand Opening is slated for July 9–the day before the Red Wing Collectors Society Convention officially begins. The museum will feature primitive stoneware, Mid-Century Modern dinnerware, art pottery and one-of-a-kind pieces on display at the new 13,000-square-foot facility.
A good selection of topics are also on tap for the educational sessions on Friday, July 11, including an orientation for first timers, recent finds from the old pottery dump, Red Wing dinnerware, insuring your collection, collecting zinc glaze stoneware, history of the potteries in Eldora (Iowa), building salt glaze and zinc glaze kilns, creating the 2014 RWCS Commemorative and publishing a book on the advertising stoneware Red Wing made for Kansas and Missouri. In addition, the RWCS Foundation will hold an info session on all its exciting new developments and what it has planned for the coming years.
Another unique aspect of the RWCS Convention is 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. There are many interactive and challenging activities and seminars for children ages 3-12 to get involved in, such as learning how to bid at an auction, what to look for in an antique, and several hands-on pottery creation projects.
To further complement KidsView, the RWCS Young Collectors is entering its fourth year of helping Red Wing collectors ages 13 to 20 grow their interest in Red Wing. This is a great opportunity to learn more about Red Wing, develop new friendships through peer-to-peer discussion groups and participate in hands-on activities.
To learn more about all the events and activities of the 37th RWCS Convention, visit the RWCS website event page for the Convention. The RWCS can also be found on Facebook and followed on Twitter.
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, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Red Wing Collectors Society website.
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