Wisconsin Pottery Association
P.O. Box 705
Madison WI

Website Content Use


WPA Press
The Newsletter Of The Wisconsin Pottery Association

Issue No. IV    April 2000

Spring has sprung!! WPA Communication Tools
Postcard Meeting Notices Featured WPA Member  Betty & Dave Knutzen
Exhibit Committee Update Clewell Pottery
In Memoriam California Figurals Part II
Art Pottery Convention Travels to Minneapolis Early Wisconsin Pottery
WPA Online A Closing Note

Spring Has Sprung!!
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 Press

Postcard Meeting Notices
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 them.

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

Exhibit Committee Update
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 soon.

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.

In Memoriam
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

WPA Online
 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 Histories". 

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 webmaster 

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 running? 

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 follows: 

"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 organized manner. 

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 

A Closing Note
 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

Email:  newsletter@wisconsinpottery.org

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

WPA Press Newsletters