Issue No. XIX Winter 2004
I must admit that I am not sad about leaving office but also must admit that being president (of the WPA) wasn't nearly as difficult as I had imagined it would be. In fact, most aspects were enjoyable, although running meetings will probably never make it to the top of my "isn't this fun" list. But being able to work with you wonderful WPA members certainly was near the top of the list. People were always willing to help out and the amount of effort given by many members to accomplish the goals of the WPA is truly phenomenal. The last 2 years have given me an opportunity to experience and appreciate the amount of work so many members are putting into our very successful endeavors. For that I am very appreciative. So, thank you for helping me thru the last 2 years and for making the WPA a meaningful and successful organization.
2004 Program Set
The January 13 meeting will be the same as in previous years: “Members Favorite Pieces.” Bring your favorite pottery and tell us about it!
On February 10, long-time WPA members Jamie and Christine Boone will give a presentation “Abingdon Pottery 1934-- 1950.” Information will be shared on identifying Abingdon, determining common and scarce pieces, and the current market values. Slides and examples from the Boone’s collection will be shown.
Bill and Linda Bakken will travel from Minnesota on March 9 to give a talk called the “North Dakota Pottery Road Show.” Their lecture and presentation will cover the major North Dakota potteries: Rosemeade, University of North Dakota, Messer, Turtle Mountain, Three Tribes, Little Heart, Dickota, and Works Progress Administration.
WPA member Michael Waidelich will speak to the group on April 13. “Early 20th-Century Rookwood” will be the theme of his talk, covering products made by America’s premier pottery company. An emphasis will be placed on Rookwood¹s Arts & Crafts-style pottery made between 1900--30.
The late 19th- and early 20th-century firm Peters and Reed will be the topic of the WPA meeting on May 11. WPA member Peter Flaherty will talk about the firm and show examples of its pottery.
As a prelude to the WPA August Show and Exhibit, on June 8 long-time Minnesota pottery-dealer and expert Steve Shoneck will return. This time he’s discussing the “Limoge Style in American Art Pottery,” the counterpoint to last September’s Haviland talk.
August 10 is the date of the WPA’s annual summer picnic. This year it will be held on the grounds of our new, regular meeting place, the Lussier Center. Members may bring books to exchange or sell. By reservation only.
More Minnesotans join us on September 14: Bob and Lynn Herrington will travel to Madison to talk about the “American Indian Influences on Art Pottery.” Members are encouraged to bring examples of American pottery that reflect Native American motifs.
On October 12, Madison potter Eric Olson of “Common Ground Pottery” will speak about the pottery he makes, show some examples, and talk about how he got to where he is in the pottery world and his plans for the future.
Our last presentation of the year is on November 9. Milwaukee resident Donald Friedemann will talk about “The Holt Howard Company.” He¹ll give us a history of the company and talk about its products. Most of us have seen the’50s and ’60¹s kitsch kitchenware, but Donald will show us more examples of their Christmas and novelty ware.
Our Holiday Party will be December 7 (by reservation only). Start shopping now for your white elephant gift!
If you own examples of any of the potteries listed above, be sure to bring them to the corresponding meeting.
If meetings are cancelled for any reason, we’ll try to notify all members by 4pm that day. Check your messages, email or call one of the officers if you are in doubt. If conditions are such that schools are closed, we will most likely not meet.)
Celebrate 2003 Holiday with Memorable Gifts, Installation of New Officers
WPA members met Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2003, for the annual Holiday Party. Elaine Staaland hosted the party again this year, assisted by Tim Holthaus, as we enjoyed the Marbella clubhouse on Madison's westside.
Liquid refreshments were followed by a turkey dinner, and a short business meeting that included approval of the 2004 WPA officers. Officers include: Nicol Knappen, President; Tim Zinkgraf, Vice President; Rose Lindner, Treasurer; and Tim Holthaus, Secretary and Business Manager (Tim H. has recently retired, so the club has big plans for his free time).
Exiting President (for the past two years) David Knutzen, said a few words, including some kind recognition of efforts exerted on behalf of the WPA's website, www.wisconsinpottery.org and this newsletter, the WPA Press. Dave's final (?) message appears above.
A gift exchange of the white elephant nature followed dinner, with an uniquely spectacular assortment of the most unusual, cheap, often ugly and generally unwanted pieces of ceramics seen in a very long time by most WPA members. A particular large, lumpy brown vase (jardinaire?) comes to mind. Members have been known to stop by St. Vincent de Paul's immediately after the party with pieces obtained during this annual white elephant exchange.
Ooos and aaahs accompanied the opening of each "gift" in true sporting fashion. Of course there were some nice pieces of pottery in the exchange as well. Truly a fun event and many pieces are recycled at the next years exchange.
While a certain editor attempted to take digital photographs of the event, turns out she took digital video instead, so certain persons that were filling their plate have been captured in moving pictures. We're looking into placing the video on some web location...
Friends of pots, tiles and/or the Arts & Crafts Movement may find a recent article by Richard Mohr of interest. The February 2004 issue of “Old House Journal” - just out has a feature article on the aesthetics of American Arts & Crafts tiles. The magazine is carried by Barnes & Nobles, Borders, or your dependent bookstore. In fact the entire issue would be a nice gift for the Arts & Crafts aficionado in the household, as the issue also contains an article on Arts & Crafts hardware.
Editor’s Note: Richard D. Mohr is a professor of philosophy at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign.
IN PURSUIT OF POTS: APEC Illinois
Show a Success at Its New Location
The annual APEC Pottery and Dinnerware Show was held on Oct. 18 and was a success. Jim and Ellen Tyne took over the management of the show this year from Norm Haas who had managed it for 25 years. The Tynes moved the APEC show, because of declining attendance in Springfield, to the fairgrounds in Grayslake, IL. to be closer to the Chicago-Milwaukee metropolitan areas.
The move was helpful as attendance was up 50% over the 2002 show. Fifty-three quality dealers representing 13 different states were set up with a large selection of pottery and dinnerware. There were pieces available from most of the major American potteries and some European wares. This broad range of pieces and prices provided buying opportunities for both beginning and advanced collectors.
Contemporary potters were also represented. An evaluation table was staffed by the Iowa Pottery Association. and some exceptional pieces were brought in for identification. The atmosphere was conducive for dealers and pottery lovers to discuss and share their interest in and information about pottery. It was a great place to increase one's knowledge about pottery and dinnerware.
Dealers reported good sales and were interested in returning next year. We saw many packages leaving the building with satisfied looking collectors. Oh yes, the food was also good.
So, if you would like a fun day and a great opportunity to see, discuss, learn about or purchase pottery and dinnerware next fall, make the 2-1/2 hour trip to Grayslake for the 27th annual APEC Show.
Editor’s Note: Betty and Dave Knutzen are members of the Wisconsin Pottery Association, as are Jim and Ellen Tyne. Jim Tyne is now the show manager for the WPA’s annual Art Pottery Sale and Exhibit, to be held August 28, 2004, in Madison, WI.
Wisconsin Pottery Association