Iconic Red Wing Pottery store to close next month

Red Wing Pottery
A zinc glaze piece sits at Red Wing Pottery in Red Wing.
David Denney | The Star Tribune via AP 2013

The iconic Red Wing Pottery store will close its salesroom for good Dec. 24.

This is not the first time Red Wing Pottery has faced closure. In 2013, third-generation owner Scott Gillmer said Red Wing Pottery would close if the company didn't find a new buyer. Bruce Johnson and his wife, Irene, agreed to buy the company about a month later.

Bruce and Irene Johnson
The new owners of Red Wing Pottery, Bruce and Irene Johnson, on Dec. 27, 2013.
Elizabeth Baier | MPR News 2013

Now, the company is suing the separate Pottery Museum of Red Wing over the museum's use of the "red wing" insignia. Johnson says as a result of the lawsuit, he and his wife have faced threats and harassment.

"We've not necessarily felt safe as a family at times," Johnson said. "We have been partially in fear of things that could happen to us. And the stress we're under is just too much continue to operate the business effectively."

The store's 15 employees will lose their jobs. Johnson says his other company, Red Wing Stoneware, will continue making some products on a limited basis.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.