On Friday, a large group of Coyotes took a day to travel East to the St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour. We mapped out our day, we knew hitting al seven stops was going to be too ambitious. And we also knew that we wanted to end the day at Matthew Krausey’s stop since #TeamCoyote member Chris Singewald was working at that stop (and because they have good beer).
So the day began at 7am in Hutchinson, we loaded up the five of us (sadly Katie had to teach, Ann was under the weather, Emily had to work at Lillian’s, and Meytal had other commitments) and we drove the 125 miles to our first destination.
Our second stop was Jeff Oestreich in Taylors Falls, MN on aptly named “Pottery Trail.” In honor of the St. Croix Valley Tour’s Twenty-Fifth Anniversary, Jeff was featuring a few special guests including Warren MacKenzie and Roelof Uys the Senior Production Potter at the Leach Pottery in St. Ives England. There were no MacKenzie pots left by the time we arrived at 11am. But there were a ton of other amazing pieces to view from Pat Burns & Andy Balmer of Portland, OR; Stephen Mickey from Brush Prairie, WA.
And the Leach Pottery staff and students sent some work over to this side of the pond. Also on display was a wheel that was built in the 1920s used by Bernard Leach and Jeff Oestreich. Manning the cash register was Nate Saunders, another MN Pottery Festival Board member and potter.
Our third stop was perfectly timed for lunch. In 2016 we thought that the food truck at Linda Christenson’s smelled wonderful. Before going through the plethora of stunning pots we stopped for a bite at The Salsa Spot, this taco truck was out of this world. I’m not going to lie, it was discussed that we might become taco truck groupies and follow this rig around. Next fest? Who cares as long as there are tacos! After our lovely lunch we got to shopping and admiring the pottery from Bandana Pottery couple, Michael Hunt & Naomi Dalglish of Bakersville, NC; Mike Helke from Stillwater, MN; Lisa Buck from Afton, MN; and former UWRF professor Randy Johnston and partner Jan McKeachie Johnston.
Fortified by tacos we headed out to our fourth stop of the day at Richard Vincent’s home. This stop is set up a little differently, each potter is set apart and is responsible for checking out their own guests. This stop held the gorgeous pottery from Sandra & Winthrop Byers from Rock Springs, WI; Steven Hill from Independence, MO; George Lowe from Decorah, IA; Donna Polseno and Richard Hensley from Floyd, VA; Kyle Carpenter from Ashville, NC; and another 2017 MN Pottery Festival artist, and Bill Gossman of New London, MN. There was also a lovely solo musician playing a lovely set to really make the experience delightful.
And last but not least we pulled in to Matt Krousey‘s studio in Stacy, MN. It was an amazing end to an amazing day. Matt’s stop featured Jo Severson from Clearwater, MN; Jason Trebs from St. Paul, MN; Suze Lindsay and Kent McLaughlin from Bakersville, NC; Mary Barringer from Shelburne Falls, MA; Dan Finnegan from Fredericksburg, VA; Matthew Metz from Alfred Station, NY; and we also got to see the 2017 MN Pottery Festival’s Featured Potter Bob Briscoe from Clearwater, MN. And as the sun was getting heavy in the western sky, the good beer was cold in our cups, and we all celebrated a lovely day viewing thousands of amazing pots.
At all the stops, each of us drooled over all the beautiful pots and a few of us took home some new pieces to add to our pottery collections.
On the way home, we stopped at Grand Szechuan for dinner at a great half-way stop in Bloomington, MN. At the end of the meal we opened our fortunes and there was a reminder to us all.
A few more fun photos from our day at the 25th Anniversary St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour.