2018 St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour Preview

2018 St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour Preview

St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour
Courtesy of Matt Krousey

Being part of a community and helping to build community is inspirational to me. That’s why every year I carve out the Friday before Mother’s Day to volunteer for Matthew Krousey at his stop on the St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour.

The tour is made up of seven different artists’ homes and studios – Matthew Krousey, Ani Kasten, Jeff Oestreich, Guillermo Cuellar, Richard Vincent, Will Swanson, and Linda Christianson – each of whom hosts six to nine potters from around the country. Picture this: beautiful river valley meets open house meets world-class pottery. Rain or shine, the tour brings thousands of people together for a three-day gathering that connects people and celebrates the medium.

The tour is a tradition – not only for me (this is my fifth year), but for the multitudes that flock to the area every spring. The tour’s longevity and the region’s love of pottery are a testament to one another. Mainstay artists return. New and emerging talent is added. I’m excited to see and catch up with those, like Dan Finnegan and Kent McLaughlin. I’m overjoyed to see new artists like Kip O’Krongly, Amanda Dobbratz, Liz Pechacek, and Peter Jadoonath have the opportunity to take part.

A culture of sharing has always been integral to the field of ceramics and is clearly part of the Tour artists’ values. Original host members are handing over their torches to the next generation of artists. Last year Matthew Krousey officially took over Bob Briscoe’s old home and studio. Ani Kasten is doing the same at Connee Mayeron’s. Both are continuing the traditions built by the former and bringing with them a different view of the tour’s future. Its evolution seems to only make it stronger.

This isn’t just a pottery sale, it is a gathering; a family reunion. And everyone’s welcome. About one hour northeast of the Twin Cities, the 2018 tour takes place this weekend, May 11 – 13.