Wisconsin Pottery Association
P.O. Box 705
Madison WI 53701-0705
Website Content Use
The Newsletter Of The Wisconsin Pottery Association
Issue No. IV April 2000
In this April 2000 issue of the WPA Press we welcome spring, the season of
renewal. As you know that means garage sales, yard sale, and estate sales, as
one's trash becomes another's treasure. For those of us that avoid travels on
icy winter roads, it is also the season to finally get out and see the sites. So
many antique malls, so little time.
In this fourth issue of the Press we'll add a destination to your spring list of
adventures. WPA President Barb Huhn has provided places, dates and times for the
American Association of Art Pottery (AAPA) annual meeting in Minneapolis, in
May. Although a little further down the road, we also have information on how
our annual fundraiser, the August Exhibit and Sale is shaping up. Information
regarding our monthly reminder cards and a passing to note round out our news
items. Last but not least, the Press features founding club members Betty and
Dave Knutzen, as well as tales of recent presentations by Betty, Elaine Staaland
and Mark Knippling. We even have some information about the WPA website, for
those of you that haven't gotten to it yet.
Enjoy your travels and remember to join us April 11 for the next meeting at the
Shorewood Community Center.
Kari Kenefick, editor, WPA
Recently we set about polling individuals as to whether or not they would be
able to do without a monthly postcard reminder for our meetings. Everyone polled
keeps a calendar and, given the regular schedule of meetings, concluded that
they could do without the post-card.
Actually producing the postcard for the whole group is more complicated than it
initially appears because we have a single database of addresses, which changes
every month. One person has to maintain the database and make a new set of
labels from it every month. It was suggested that e-mail notices be sent, but
the e-mail database changes even faster than the street address database and our
computer users are typically still in the work-force and/or are raising
children, necessitating the keeping of a personal calendar anyway.
There is the issue of the cost of the newsletter. It costs the club
approximately $600 per year to send the postcards and with the added expense of
sending this newsletter our mailing and copying budgets are stressed to the max.
There are so many vital projects out there that we would like to support that it
seems a shame to continue the postcards for those who don't absolutely need
At our last meeting Ori-anne and Paul Pagel updated us on the Edgerton projects.
Donations for a window in the Pauline Log Cabin will be $300. My first thought
was "Well, there's half the savings from not sending postcards this
year..." So, as with my own personal budget, this savings will spend itself
before it's even saved. It is important to us however to have every-one come to
the meetings. For that reason please let us know if you wish to get the postcard
reminder. For those of you who absolutely rely on the postcard we will still
make it available. We anticipate that the number will be small enough that
someone will be able to hand write the few postcards every month. Please let us
know if you would like your postcard to continue. The rest of us will rely on
the schedule printed quarterly in the WPA Press.
Barb Huhn, WPA President
The exhibit committee has been very busy with the planning and development for
our upcoming exhibit, "Clay and Craft: The Art Pottery of Illinois". We
continue to be involved in the process of procuring examples from potential
collectors and pottery dealers to represent the potteries that we are planning
to show. Tracking down leads, talking up the success of our past exhibits and
pottery show, and reassuring potential donors are just some of things we're
currently doing. It seems to require being part detective, and part salesman in
order achieve success in recruiting someone to donate pottery for the event.
This is especially true for collectors that are not familiar with the WPA.
We have been fortunate to have a network of helpful dealers that sell at our
pottery show who either have some pieces that they are willing to lend, or know
of someone that might have a collection that would help us. Thanks to Chris
Swart and Glenn Clark for this connection! These resources, combined with our
more traditional sources, club members that have always been helpful in donating
pieces for the exhibit, we think will lead to another outstanding exhibit this
year. (Of course we are a little biased.)
The potteries that we currently are considering include: Abingdon, Anna,
Cliftwood/Morton, Chicago Crucible, Eugene Deutch, Haeger, Hull House,
Lictonware, Monmouth/Western Stoneware, Norweta, Norse, Pauline, Pickard, Pillin,
and Teco. That's 15 potteries with an Illinois connection, a pretty
comprehensive list, although there are some obscure potteries that we haven't
been able to locate.
This represents a lot of organization in terms of dealing with a variety of
collectors that these pieces will come from. Chris Swart is currently
researching information on these potteries for a press release to be completed
We have also started doing some on-site visits to view potential exhibit pieces.
On a recent Saturday, we went to Chicago to see a collection that we are very
excited about. However, we cannot disseminate any information on the collector
at this time; as most of you know, for security purposes we do not disclose the
names of any of the potential donors.
In February, the exhibit committee met with Elaine Staaland and a hotel
representative at the Marriot to view and discuss the exhibit space. We will be
using a room that was not used during last year's pottery show. It is located
near the entrance of the pottery show area. We felt that the space will meet our
needs and will be easy for attendees to find.
Our next meeting is Thursday March 30th, as the planning continues. We'll again
be going over the exhibit acquisitions list, but will also be discussing the
design and layout of the exhibit.
Exhibit Committee members include; Tom Tompkin, Tim Zinkgraf, Rose Lindner, Jim
Riordan and Jim Tyne. If you have any questions or suggestions please contact
any of us.
Jim Riordan, Exhibit Commitee.
Karen Hafstad, former WPA member, passed away in December after
a long illness. She was 53. Karen was unable to participate in the club as much
as she would have liked, but she remained a loyal supporter of our efforts in
the Cambridge area, and always helped with our annual show. Karen was employed
at the Cambridge Antique Mall and is missed by all who knew her.
Chris Swart, Annual Exhibit and Sale Publicity Manager
The website of the Wisconsin Pottery Association is becoming a great place
for information that you can’t find anywhere else on the web and a great place
to start your search. The website is the only location I’ve found with
information on Pauline Pottery and most other Wisconsin Potteries. People have
linked to it for their web auctions and people are constantly asking for prices
for pottery featured on the site. Currently over 150 a day are looking at the
Wisconsin Pottery Association’s Website.
Another reason people come to our website is that it constantly
changes. Currently there is over 10 megabytes of pictures and information. The
entrance or front page of the website is www.wisconsinpottery.org.
On the front page is the current high-lights of the website. For example, you
might see a note on an upcoming presentation, the banner for the Wisconsin
Pottery Association’s Show & Sale or a project that members of the
association are working on. This page allows you to find the most current
information without having to search the site to find it. There is also a link
to the main home page.
The home page is www.wisconsinpottery.org/home.htm.
You can get to this page by pressing the large "ENTER"
on the front page or clicking on the pot with the word “Home”
located on the bottom of every page on the site. This is the main place to start
your search for information. From this page you can link to a history of Wisconsin
Potteries, information on the organization, an archive of the WPA
Press, info on how to join, our calendar,
directions to the meetings, contact
members of the club and to other sites. What
makes us unique on the web is the link on this page for "Pottery
Finding useful information about pottery on the web is very
difficult. Since the group has given presentations on so many different
potteries over the years, we have a valuable basis as a starting point for
collecting more. This page started out as a listing of the presentations given,
but is evolving into a central collecting point of information. Looking at this
page, you can see if the website contains any information about a pottery or
if its likely to be added in the future. For example, Bauer has never been a
subject of a presentation or show, so for right now there is no information on
it. If the pottery has been the subject of a presentation, its likely that
someday more information will be online after someone watches the video on the
presentation or looks through their notes. Frankoma Pottery was presented in
October of 1999, and currently there isn’t a link, but in the near future
pictures and information from the presentation will be online. As soon as that
happens, the Frankoma listing will connect to a page built on information from
the presentation; the basics on where the pottery was located, its dates of
operation, Related Pages and Related Links. Under Related Pages will be items
that are on the Wisconsin Pottery Association’s website. They could be
articles from the newsletter, presentation information & pictures or items
specifically done for the website. Under Related Links will be informative links
on that pottery when ever such links are available.
What can you expect in the future? Of course there will be more
information and pictures on Wisconsin Potteries. Coming soon will be information
on Madison Ceramic Arts, Century House, Norse
and Pittsville. In anticipation of the
August 2000 Show & Sale–”Clay & Craft: The Art Pottery of Illinois”—there
will be information on the potteries covered by the exhibit.
Since the web is an international source for information, the
WPA website will soon have links that will translate the pages into other
languages. A search engine for just the site will be a useful tool as well.
Tim Zinkgraf, WPA
WPA Communication Tools
When we first began our foray with the WPA Press and our
website there were those who questioned the value of having them (KK
gasps!). What about the cost/benefit ratio? Was it really worth the considerable
money, time and expertise of a few tireless workers to keep these things up and
Recently we received an e-mail that I think speaks volumes to
this question. While “surfing the web” Lynn, the daughter of hyalyn
Pottery owners Les and Fran Moody, found our website. Her e-mail to us is as
"I was stunned to stumble onto the information about hyalyn.
I am Les and Fran Moody’s daughter. I worked for hyalyn
as a salesperson as a teenage (summer job) and even designed one decal. I have a
pretty good collection of the catalogs and a fairly decent idea of what went on.
My mother will be 95 in April and is no longer in great health though I think
her doctor says she is in good health for her age. She had a couple of TIAs
(trans ischemic attacks) last summer, which didn’t help. If you have questions
about hyalyn, let me know. I know where Herb Cohen is. Whatever. Lynn”
When I read the e-mail I was struck by the power of the web to
connect people with valuable information. How nice for Fran Moody to find out,
however late in life, that she has left a legacy and that there are a growing
number of people who are coming to value her life’s work as art. I was
reminded of the experience of Betty Harrington, of Ceramic Art Studio, who in
the last few years of her life was able to gain the recognition due her. How
many times have we heard about people who passed away without revealing their
techniques, formulas and other historical information? Were it not for our
website and interested members, Lynn’s collection of catalogs and other
historical information might have ended up at the curb during a particularly
energetic Spring housecleaning.
Several years ago I was vacationing In South Carolina and came
across about 10 pieces of studio pottery in an antiques shop. The beautiful
colors, design, artist signature and elaborate coding on each piece intrigued
me. The story, in short, is that someone inherited hundreds of pieces of
pottery, the life’s work of this gifted studio potter, threw away the diary he
kept of his projects and sold the pieces for little or nothing at a garage sale.
The antiques store owner bought the vast majority and approached the state
historical society in New Hampshire, where the artist had lived, willing to sell
them at cost. They weren’t interested! The remaining few pieces were all that
was left. I think this is tragic but how much more so if it had been a major
pottery archive such as hyalyn?
Thanks to the existence of the WPA and the good work of Tim
Zinkgraf, these connections can be made, people will be able to connect with
others who do care about maintaining and disseminating this information, and
artists unlike this poor fellow from New Hampshire, will be assured of a measure
of respect from collectors and peers. Lynn’s e-mail was forwarded to the
Boones who did the presentation on hylayn for us last year. I am hopeful that
they will be able to update us after they have had the chance to contact Lynn. I
anticipate that we will ask Lynn for copies of her catalogs and try to organize
a formal oral history project. If anyone else would like to contact Lynn please
let us know and we will find a way, with the Boones, to approach her in an
Again, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tim for
his work on the website. Were it not for Tim, the website, at the level he
maintains it, would be prohibitively expensive to have done professionally.
There is not a more attractive and interesting pottery website any-where on the
web. Thank you Tim!
Barb Huhn, WPA President
Editor’s Note: In addition to thanking our webmaster, it
goes without saying that with-out the WPA founders and members that have
dedicated themselves and the club to education, those club members that have
tirelessly organized, researched and present-ed information on various
potteries, and those that saw fit to record these presentations, there would be
far less information for our website. Our hats off to ALL of you, as well! -KK
Thanks so much for the many contributors to this fourth
edition of the WPA Press. Contributions are so important to keeping this the
club's newsletter (as opposed to the opinions of the editor, only). As you read
this issue (oh, guess you are done now) and perhaps grimace at the typos and
questionable grammar or keep asking yourself why this or that was omitted, write
these questions and comments down, either on a piece of paper, or at your
computer. Then send them to me:
Kari B. Kenefick
Wisconsin Pottery Association
P.O. Box 705
Madison WI 53701-0705
There, now: (A) you're a writer and (B) doesn't that feel
better? Watch for your comments to be published in the July edition of the WPA
Press. Written contributions are always accepted, and are subject to at least
some scrutiny by the editor (definitely not a threat!).
See you April 11. Until then, happy hunting!! Kari
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