Weather Forecast


Pottery officially open for business

Laura Braa’s Red Wing Photography Studio and Art Gallery, which is still being set up, is one of the new attractions that will be on display this weekend as part of Red Wing Pottery’s grand reopening weekend. (Republican Eagle photo by John R. Russett)

A few months ago Red Wing Pottery CEO Bruce Johnson received a phone call from Eric Darling. Darling had an idea for a new product — but he wouldn’t tell Johnson what it was.

The phone call lasted close to an hour and not too long thereafter Darling came to Red Wing and sat with Johnson in his office where they talked for another two hours. Darling still had yet to reveal the product idea.

It was only at the end of the two-hour conversation that Darling reached into the box he brought along and set the new piece on Johnson’s desk.

Johnson and Darling worked over the next few months to set up a partnership between Red Wing Pottery and Darling’s company, Sota Pitcher.

Darling said he first inquired at the Pottery in October 2013 – before Johnson and his wife, Irene, purchased Red Wing Pottery from the Gillmer family – but his pitch was met with little interest.

The product, which will be revealed Friday morning as part of the Red Wing Pottery’s grand reopening weekend, is produced exclusively by Red Wing Pottery and will be available for purchase at the Red Wing Collectors Society convention July 10-12 for the first time.

Darling said he’s excited to partner with a company with such history and Minnesota roots.

“The partnership is perfect,” he said, adding he’s looking forward to combining his product with the classic Red Wing Pottery brand.

Aside from unveiling a new product, Johnson said the entire mall will be open this weekend including the new Red Wing Photography studio and art gallery, remodeled classroom space, the Candy Store and Loons and Ladyslippers.

“You combine all of these things all the way down and it’s now a full experience for people,” Johnson said.

John R. Russett

John Russett is a regional reporter for RiverTown Multimedia, covering a variety of issues facing RiverTown communities. Previously, he worked at the Red Wing Republican Eagle, where he reported on education as well as crime and courts. 

You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnRyanRussett


(651) 301-7876