One of the cultural signs of spring in the St. Croix Valley for many people is the St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour. It has offered the chance every Mother’s Day weekend since 1993 to visit some beautiful places and see and buy the work of artists and craftspeople from across the country.
The pottery tour has also been a consistent opportunity to connect with friends, meet the people whose pots you use for eating and drinking — and soak in the world at its brightest green.
This year will be different. Instead of the seven unique pottery studios that host the tour, it is all moving online for 2020, with the organizers still providing ways to meet artists and shop their most recent works.
The tour is an important part of the livelihood for many professional potters in the area, who include established artisans and an energetic young generation. It is recognized from coast to coast, attracting collectors, enthusiasts, and others who travel from every state in the union, every year.
“This is not a decision that our community took lightly, and we understand that many of us as potters depend upon The Saint Croix Valley Pottery Tour income to survive,” the tour’s website says. “We also know that a wonderful community of pottery lovers anticipate attending this event every year.”
This year, on the morning when the gates would have first opened for the three-day affair, the tour’s potters will post all their new work online. It will be for sale starting at 10 a.m. Central Daylight Time on a first-come, first-served basis. Several potters who did not previously sell online but have managed to quickly set up new web shops for the occasion.
Because interacting directly with the artists has always been a big part of the tour’s appeal, there will also be virtual shopping appointments with host and guest artists over the weekend.
“The Saint Croix Valley Pottery Tour hosts and guest potters have prepared a bountiful supply of pots that they have been working on for many months,” the potters say. “We were dreaming of seeing you all again here in Minnesota but look forward to seeing you online on Mothers Day Weekend.”