DES MOINES – More than 350 Red Wing fanatics once again braved snowy roads to attend the Red Wing Collectors Society (RWCS) MidWinter GetTogether, held Feb. 12-14 at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Des Moines, Ia.
Although many collectors arrived early to buy and sell Red Wing stoneware, the event officially kicked off with a reception on Feb. 12. The theme of this year’s event was “Fiesta in February,” and many members dressed up in ponchos and sombreros for the “partido.”
A co-author of three books about Red Wing stoneware and a member of the RWCS Hall of Fame, Dan DePasquale gave the event’s keynote presentation the following morning, discussing the steps he and co-author Larry Peterson took in writing their new book, Red Wing Stoneware Encyclopedia.
Several educational sessions followed, including a show-and-tell session by longtime pottery dump digger Steve Showers; a discussion on Red Wing Saffron Ware by Tammi Soutar Hawley; and a presentation from Diane Roupe, The Blue Ribbon Country Cookbook author and Iowa State Fair food judge, who discussed the proper and safe method of making fermented dill pickles and sauerkraut in a Red Wing crock. Topics of other educational seminars included Red Wing’s paper advertising pieces, how to insure a collection and stoneware and pottery made in Iowa.
About 20 children attended the event with their parents, and they all had a good time participating in the KidsView educational activities.
The always popular Saturday Show & Sale was followed by an independently sponsored auction, which was once again conducted by Richard and Todd Houghton of Houghton’s Auction Services, Red Wing, Minn. – experts in selling Red Wing items throughout the Midwest.
The top item in this year’s auction was a 24-inch Red Wing dark cobalt floor vase, coming in at $875. A 20-gallon salt glaze crock with primitive leaf followed closely behind at $775. A 10-gallon transitional crock with Elephant Ear leaves and a hand-drawn “10” brought $640 and 50-gallon Red Wing Self-Draining Jar sold for $600. A North Star custard cup and a Sleepy Eye butter crock hammered down at $400 each.
A large selection of Red Wing dinnerware donated by the Schleich Museum in Lincoln, Neb., was also auctioned off, with the proceeds of $7,200 benefitting the Red Wing Collectors Society Foundation. Top dinnerware lots included a Majestic pattern test plate with glaze numbers on the back, $240, and a Lotus egg tray with cover, $135.
The MidWinter GetTogether is a precursor to the national RWCS Convention held every July since 1977 in Red Wing, Minn. This year’s Convention, July 8-10, will attract thousands of collectors to Red Wing for a week of educational meetings, auctions, buying, selling and fun for the whole family.
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. Annual membership in the society costs only $25. 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.
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