Decorate With UND Pottery

There are many ways in which decorative features can be added to a room. Rather than simply go out and pick up a few meaningless pieces from the local department store, take a moment to consider some pottery from one of the most significant sources of fine pottery – University of North Dakota (UND) Pottery.

Under the tutelage of ceramic department head Margaret Cable, UND Pottery was developed to become a highly valued source of fine art pottery. Pottery that was made between the years of 1910 to 1949 and bearing the blue School of Mines seal are highly valued and representative of here high acclaim.

The pottery that is made at University of North Dakota Pottery uses the high quality clay from western North Dakota. The techniques that were developed and taught have left a long legacy of fine decorative art in pottery making that is still being appreciated today.

The work that was produced by Cable can be identified by the seal that is found on each piece. This began in 1912 with a hand lettered seal in cobalt blue that was placed on the bottom of a small flower vase. By the following year this seal was placed on all works of note that were produced by UND Pottery.

Some of the most collected and keenly sought examples of North Dakota pottery feature prairie motifs with each example snapped up as they become available.

The early UND Pottery examples are representative of Art Nouveau or Art Deco influence. This gradually began to feature native flora and fauna, Indian designs and the aforementioned prairie motifs as well as farming or hunting motifs.

The decorative features of the pottery came in two forms, patterns that were painted in mineral pigments or colored glazes on the biscuit ware or designs that were carved in low relief into the surface of the damp clay vessels.

Use of the UND School of Mines seal to mark North Dakota pottery continued from 1912 until 1963.

The type of wares that were created under the UND seal included: tiles, jugs, jars, plates, bowls, vases, trays, tobacco jars, ashtrays and paperweights.

A particularly noteworthy style of pottery to come out of UND is the development of bentonite pottery. This is a monochromatic style almost exclusively featuring native American images painted in reds, browns and creams and simply sublime in its artistry.

Anyone who is looking to add some valuable decorative art pottery pieces to their home can be advised to seriously consider UND Pottery. They are a valuable part of the history of American pottery and will definitely add value as well as cultural significance to the home.

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