RED WING, Minn. – The frigid temperatures and threat of snow in February usually doesn’t make Des Moines the most enjoyable place to spend Valentines weekend, but things will be sure to warm up when collectors bring their love for Red Wing stoneware and pottery to town for the Red Wing Collectors Society (RWCS) MidWinter GetTogether Feb. 12-14.
RWCS is the organization devoted to those who collect a diverse line of crocks, jugs, churns, dinnerware and art pottery manufactured in Red Wing from the 1880s to the 1960s. Hundreds of people from around the country are expected to attend the February event, which serves as a precursor and helps tie collectors over until the annual national RWCS Convention in Red Wing in July. These two events serve as considerable 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.
Many attendees sell Red Wing wares from their hotel rooms during the MidWinter GetTogether, which is highlighted by organized activities including a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 12.
The theme of this year’s event is “Fiesta in February.” Mexican cuisine will be served and attendees are encouraged to bring their ponchos and sombreros to take part in the fun. Educational sessions and KidsView activities will be held for members on Feb. 13. The keynote presentation that morning will be given by Dan DePasquale, who will discuss the process of putting together his new book – Red Wing Stoneware Encyclopedia – with co-author and fellow Red Wing collector Larry Peterson. Released last fall, the first printing of the book has already sold out due to high demand.
Two new educational presentations will also be offered at this year’s event – Red Wing Paper Products and Canning: From the Crock to the Jar. Other educational presentations will include Recent Pottery Dump Finds by Steve Showers and a special guest presentation on Iowa Stoneware by Michael Smith, curator at the Iowa Historical Society Museum. KidsView educational activities will also take place to keep kids entertained while their parents hunt for new pieces of Red Wing for their collections.
A show and sale will run from 1 to 4 p.m. on Feb. 13, followed by an auction at 6 p.m. – both of which are open to the public. 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 8-10 in Red Wing, Minn., log on to www.redwingcollectors.org.
Annual membership in the Red Wing Collectors Society costs $25 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.
For more information or to become a member of the Red Wing Collectors Society, call the RWCS business office at 800-977-7927, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.redwingcollectors.org.
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