Convention keynote speaker sharing Red Wing pottery workplace memories

RED WING, Minn. – The Red Wing Collectors Society Annual Convention, set for July 12-14, will celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Society. The organization is inviting everyone to come and hear keynote speaker Hannes Kuehn, a former designer/modeler at the Red Wing Potteries.

Kuehn will present a narrative/PowerPoint recollection of working at Red Wing Pottery from 1956 to 1957. He was a designer/modeler who worked closely with Modeler Ted Hutchson and Designer Charles Murphy. He believes that he may be the last living designer today who actually worked at the Pottery, generating original designs and models for Red Wing Potteries.

Hannes Kuehn will speak at Red Wing Collectors Society Convention

Hannes Kuehn worked at the Red Wing Potteries in the 1950s.

He visited Germany last year and met many pottery modeler/designers and photographed their work. Along the way, he visited several pottery museums that displayed historic designs, equipment and production methods. It is likely that the probable founder of Red Wing Pottery, Joseph Pohl, who arrived in 1861, acquired his knowledge and skill of making crocks and bowls in Germany and applied it here in his new home near what is now Red Wing, Minn.

Come and listen to Kuehn’s stories about working at the potteries in the 1950s and learn a little about the history of this type of work that originated in Europe and continued in this area. The presentation will include many pictures of ceramic and stoneware items and designs. It is fun and interesting to collect Red Wing Pottery pieces, but first they had to be designed and produced; and that was fun and interesting, too!

Hannes Kuehn began his modeler/designer career as an apprentice at Ulmer Keramik in Germany in 1954. In 1956, Hannes immigrated to the U.S. and began working at Red Wing Potteries. Following his stint at the Potteries, Hannes had other ceramic positions until he became a dental technician, owning his own lab from 1958 to 1988. In 1988, he became the director of the production and teaching dental laboratories at the UCLA Dental School until 1999. In addition to his pottery, ceramics and design professional experience, Hannes also served as a police officer at various points in his carrier including the Los Angeles Police Department. Hannes currently lives in Southern California with his wife, Rosi.


This article originally appeared in Antique Trader magazine

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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, e-mail membership[at]redwingcollectors.org.

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