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Welcome to our 25th Annual St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour !
2017 Host Potters


 


The 25th Annual St Croix Valley Pottery Tour and Sale will welcome visitors on Fri., Sat., & Sun., May 12, 13, 14, 2017 to seven pottery studios. Each studio/pottery is just a short drive from the others allowing some or all to be visited in a single day.

This springtime, self-guided tour is anticipated by all who enjoy handmade pottery. It is nationally recognized as a gathering of exceptional potters.  Always held on Mothers' Day weekend, "The Tour" is an opportunity to enjoy the hospitality of local potters in their rural studios. This year, you can meet 52 accomplished guest potters from around the nation who have been invited by each host especially for this weekend event.

Begun in 1993 as an outgrowth of potters' individual studio sales, "The Tour" has maintained its welcoming "open house" hospitality. It has grown to be a once-a-year place to lay your hands on thousands of pots and to meet and talk with a total of 60 potters. This friendly, face-to-face connection between makers and users of pottery has proven satisfying to visitors and potters alike. Visitors have reported finding, "Unexpectedly warm hospitality", "The highest quality anywhere", and "Stuff that I can afford and is American made".

The seven host pottery sites are: Richard Vincent's oak-shaded backyard studio, Linda Christianson's unique studio and log home nestled in a clearing in the woods, Will Swanson and Janel Jacobson's studio close by Wild River State Park, Guillermo Cuellar's hilltop home and studio overlooking the St. Croix River, Jeff Oestreich's early Minnesota farmstead remade into home and studio, Connee Mayeron's pottery gallery-in-a-barn just down the road from the Franconia Sculpture Park, and Matt Krousey's picturesque, woodland home and studio (formerly Robert Briscoe’s, who continues as a guest potter.)

"The Tour" has earned a reputation as a source of high-quality, functional pottery and an intriguing array of distinctive, ceramic expression. Visiting potters repeatedly say that they enjoy the knowledgeable and appreciative audience that they find in Minnesota. This year the potters are coming from seventeen states and England. They are bringing a wide range of handmade pottery to offer for sale. Their work ranges from everyday functional to decorative and/or sculptural, from rustic to refined, from whimsical to sublime. One visitor remarked about his day in the country, "It's the kind of event where you want to bring your friends along so you can talk about what you saw!"

The seven pottery studios are located in the upper St. Croix River valley, in Chisago County, less than a one hour drive from Minneapolis and St. Paul. Admission to all the studios is free and open to everyone.

As a way of saying "thank you" for the enthusiastic support we experience with this event, a portion of the proceeds each year is donated to arts and educational projects.

 

 
Janel & Will's Tour Day


 

This wheel, built in the 1920's, was used by Bernard Leach and Jeff Oestreich. It is now owned by Minnesota potter Donavan Palmquist. It will be on display at the Oestreich Pottery all three days of the Saint Croix Valley Pottery Tour.

Between noon and 1:00 p.m. on Saturday May 13th Jeff, Warren MacKenzie, Clary Illian and Roelof Uys will make pots on it.

 

To see a larger version of Jeff on the wheel click on the image >>

 

Jeff Oestreich at the Leach Pottery

Jeff Oestreich on wheel at the Leach Pottery in England in 1970

 


 

In 2014 The American Craft Council produced a video and interviewed the Saint Croix Valley Pottery Tour host potters.

To view the video, click:  >> Video <<

To listen to the interviews "Stories Potters Tell: Clay and Community in the St. Croix Valley", by Jessica Shaykett:
Click:  >> A Measure of the Earth: an Oral History of the Potters of the St. Croix River Valley, Minnesota <<


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