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Nemadji Pottery

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American Art Pottery20 of 266Susan Demay PotterySeeking Identification of Makers Mark for Pansy Vase
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    Posted 5 months ago

    (47 items)

    This little treasure isNemadji pottery. Dated roughly in the mid-20th century.
    The picture gives little justice. This beautiful piece stands 3.5" and is 3" wide.
    There are swirls of blues and gold over cream .


    1. keramikos keramikos, 5 months ago
      Tlsweat7203, Beautiful.

      I was not previously acquainted with Nemadji pottery, and had to educate myself a bit:


      Nemadji Tile & Pottery Co. of Moose Lake, Minnesota, began producing their swirled pottery in 1929. A distinctive product and clever marketing were the roots of their success. The name “Nemadji” is an Ojibwe word meaning “left-handed,” but was easily misunderstood to be the name of a tribe. In the information sheet that accompanied their pots, Nemadji stressed that their wares were made with the same clays and shapes used by Native Americans. The connection of this marbled style of decoration with Native American production was more assumption than fact, but Nemadji was happy to encourage the idea. In reality, Eric Hellman, a Nemadji employee and Danish immigrant, came up with the idea to decorate the vases using simple house paint.

      Though early pots were hand-thrown, most Nemadji pottery was molded from either a colored or white clay, fired and left in a bisque (unglazed) state. Different colored paints were floated on top of a vat of water and a small bit of vinegar was added to help separate the paints. Using a technique similar to marbling paper, the fired vase was hand-dipped into the water and swirled in the floating colors. The pieces did not have to be refired and dried quickly, creating uniquely decorated pots every time.


      Popular for more than 70 years, Nemadji finally ceased production in 2001.

    2. CanyonRoad, 5 months ago
      According to the book "The Myth and Magic of Nemadji 'Indian' Pottery" by Michelle D. Lee, the stamp on the bottom was actually one of the last stamps used by the company, from 1980-2001. Production ended in 2001, the last shipment of pots went out in 2002.
    3. Tlsweat7203 Tlsweat7203, 5 months ago
      I am so grateful for both of your comments. It puts a date and history on this piece.
      Please continue with any info you have on my newest discoveries.
    4. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 5 months ago
      Keramikos, that is fascinating information about the paint, vinegar, water technique for bisque ware decoration.
      I plan to read more about that technique then try it on some bisque ware African violet pots that I’ve had for years; I wanted them to look unusual and creative. I think that would do it!
      I love they way the pots in this post look!

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