From the late 1800s into the early 1900s Red Wing, Minnesota was the mecca for stoneware production. Production peaks were 10,000,000 gallons annually between the three main companies in operation: Red Wing Stoneware Company, Minnesota Stoneware Company and North Star Stoneware Company (1892-1896). Not all pieces were marked, but stoneware from this area usually has characteristics that are easily identifiable. Crocks, jars, churns, water coolers, jugs, bowls and pitchers were a sampling of the products produced. In the 1930s, production changed from stoneware over to dinnerware and art pottery as refrigeration became more common in households.
I first heard about Red Wing's wares about 10 years ago when I had a large house plant in an ugly pot. It would have been quite a chore repotting it, so someone suggested just putting the pot inside a crock. I asked “what’s a crock”? About a week later, I went to a farm auction and bought a 15 gallon Red Wing crock. I didn't know it then, but that purchase would start an obsession.
While I do not have the years into collecting like some, I have made up for it with my passion to learn all I can about vintage stoneware. I primarily focus on pieces made by Red Wing for my collection, but I've also gained quite a bit of knowledge about stoneware produced by other Midwestern companies by reading, networking and attending countless auctions and sales over the years. Not only do I collect, but I also sell and trade. If you have a piece of stoneware, crockery or art pottery that was handed down, or maybe you bought something at a garage sale and would like more information on it, please feel free to contact me and I would love to help.
The photos on this site contain just a small sample of the several types of pieces I collect.