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Red Wing pottery collection

RED WING - Thousands of stoneware and pottery collectors with Red Wing on their minds will make the trek to the Red Wing Collectors Society national convention, which runs Thursday through Saturday.

Headquarters is Red Wing High School, but they'll be seen throughout the community. Events are planned in the Pottery District, home of Pottery Park and the Pottery Museum, and collectors annually search shops and garage sales for Red Wing items. Many are already in town for pre-convention auctions. A narrated tour of historical sites is planned this year.

During the convention, members will participate in activities and educational seminars for all ages. Even youngsters have a special agenda of KidsView interactive and educational activities including hands-on pottery creation projects, Executive Director Stacy Wegner said.

People who are newly joined members can attend orientation, and topics will include dump finds, advertising jugs, Ebb Tide and Concord dinnerware, and how to safely display a collection.

A working potter from Ephraim Pottery will demonstrate "throwing" pieces on a wheel.

Members also will be checking out special displays of collections and rare items at the high school.

Those exhibits and the annual Show and Sale are open to the public Saturday morning. Members only attend the show and sale in the gymnasium at 9 a.m.; the public is admitted from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Non-members also are welcome to check out the Pottery Museum in Pottery Place Mall.

The annual commemorative, a miniature replica of a Red Wing piece, will be unveiled and distributed to members beginning Thursday morning. The commemorative is a closely guarded secret until the unveiling, Wegner noted. A limited number of commemoratives is made, contributing to their increase in value in the years following.

The Red Wing Collectors Society was founded in 1977 in Red Wing. It is dedicated to preserving the rich pottery history of Red Wing and other American pottery. There are more than 5,000 members worldwide.

For more information or to become a member and attend the convention, call (800) 977-7927, e-mail or log on to