St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour and Sale

Starts Friday: When it comes to handmade pottery, devotees can be a little crazed. Which means that not even torrential rains will deter fans of the St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour, a season opener for Minnesota’s art-and-tableware enthusiasts. Seven studios nestled into woodsy sites near the St. Croix River are hosting 44 guest artists from 16 states this year bringing plenty of new platters, bowls, vases, pitchers, teapots and other utilitarian ware. Styles and glazes tend toward the earthy, but also expect to find crusty salt-glazed designs, modern blue-and-white pieces, translucent porcelain vessels and colorful majolica patterns. Jenny Mendes of Chesterland, Ohio, created the pretty plate shown here. Artists are coming from as far as Helena, Mont., and Floyd, Va., to share their winter’s work. Surely the sun will shine, the robins flutter and the trillium and mayflowers bloom to welcome them. (10 a.m.-6 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. Free. For map, directions, pictures and information about participating potters: 651-674-4555 or www.minnesotapotters.com)