I recently had the pleasure of working with Red Wing Stoneware, in Red Wing MN. They asked me to come in as a consultant to provide some additional training for their employees, specifically to help with the mold making process’s for both slip casting and RAM pressing.
Red Wing Stoneware has been around for a long time. They have a great history in American production, and its all detailed on their site here.
The show room, the huge signs can easily be seen from the highway
Downtown Red Wing, a very quaint town
Inside the factory, lots of slipcasting in progress. In this case, a gang mold for spoon rests.
Molds being cast during the morning shift, these will be drained before lunch, then dried, cleaned up, and the molds reassembled after lunch.
Besides slipcasting, many forms are made with good ol’fashoned wheel throwing.
The throwers are talented, and quick.
The throwing station.
With a division of labor in play, the throwers do not trim.
Pieces being “blue lined”, a signature of Red Wing
Glazing is done with a combination of dipping and spraying.
While in factory, its impressive the pure volume of work moving through.
Ware carts of work ready…
One load going in…
One coming out, with another ready to go.
Finished work on the shelves ready to go out.
More finished work.
Custom work for Red Wing Shoes, or as they call it in Red Wing, “the shoe”.
Production manager, and head mold maker Bill being introduced to the process of turning prototypes on the wheel. Before this, the throwers would make the prototypes, but could not optimize them for mold making and RAM pressing.
Halfway through making RAM press molds, the lower is already finished, with a handbuilt clay positive.
The air release system for the upper section of the mold.
Fitting the air system in the ring.
Brillant way to route the air, Bill was my teacher about this one.
Ready to pour.
After pouring, cut the cross section. Looks good. The bowl pressed beautifully, mission accomplished.
On the way out of town, had to stop here. Just a fantastic place.