Spring in Minnesota begins with wildflowers and pottery

Spring tends to play hide-and-seek in Minnesota. A string of sunny days in the 70s may unexpectedly appear in March, followed by weeks of cold rain and snow. It can be hard to know from day-to-day what season it is supposed to be.

3-dsc_9135-back-yard-bird

(“Spring” in my yard: A late April snowfall a few years ago.)

Because spring weather is such an undependable indicator of seasonal change in Minnesota, I have other indicators – like the appearance of spring wildflowers and the Saint Croix Valley Pottery Tour.

- ExplorationVacation.net

Actually, if it really is spring, there will be plenty of spring wildflowers in evidence right at the pottery tour, simplifying my search for signs of spring. On the other hand, if the weekend of the tour is miserably cold and the wildflowers are few and far between, then it isn’t really spring. Calendars do lie sometimes.

While there are still a few days where the weather is less than spring-like, the pottery tour was a couple weeks ago and it was a clear indication that spring really is here – the weather was warm and sunny and the woodlands of the Saint Croix River Valley were filled with flowers.

St Croix Pottery Tour - ExplorationVacation.net

St Croix Pottery Tour - ExplorationVacation.net

St Croix Pottery Tour - ExplorationVacation.net

The Saint Croix Valley Pottery Tour consists of three days of pottery sales at the studios of seven local artists, all of whom live and work in lovely rural settings in or near the Saint Croix River Valley.

St Croix Pottery Tour - ExplorationVacation.net

- ExplorationVacation.net

St Croix Pottery Tour - ExplorationVacation.net

St Croix Pottery Tour - ExplorationVacation.net

- ExplorationVacation.net

St Croix Pottery Tour - ExplorationVacation.net

While the tour is hosted by local potters, each host also invites a few guest artists. Guests come from throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin, but also from farther afield; this year’s tour included potters from Virginia, Vermont, North Carolina, Ohio, Arizona, Colorado, Montana, and more. Some guests return every year, but others only participate once or twice, ensuring there are always a few new artists on hand. This combination of local potters and guests results in an especially diverse mix and provides a chance to see work that we would never see otherwise.

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- ExplorationVacation.net

- ExplorationVacation.net

- ExplorationVacation.net

St Croix Pottery Tour - ExplorationVacation.net

- ExplorationVacation.net

St Croix Pottery Tour - ExplorationVacation.net

- ExplorationVacation.net

Trying to decide which pieces absolutely have to come home at the end of the day can be exhausting. Fortunately the potters have started to expand food options beyond the typical art show opening snacks. Food trucks are even starting to make an appearance, so there is no need to take too long of a break from the art!

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(That’s mac and cheese with BBQ pork.)

All in all, it made for a glorious spring day.

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The Saint Croix Valley Pottery Tour is held annually on Mother’s Day weekend. This year’s tour included seven studios and 47 guest potters. Although we enjoy seeing everyone’s work, we didn’t get to every studio this year – the photos here were taken during our visits to the studios of Guillermo Cuellar, Linda Christianson, Will Swanson, Richard Vincent, and Connie Mayeron.

Next year’s tour will be held May 6-8.

Pottery and potholes along the Saint Croix River (2010)
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