From the Ap[ril 2018 Edition
I just checked the calendar and it says it is spring! Then I checked the
weather report and it says colder and snow. The Minot weather man said it
will turn colder with rain and snow. As if that isn't bad enough he said you
will need more than one hand to count the number of inches of snow that we
I am no weather man, just a simple Norwegian, but I know that when the
ranchers start calving and its Easter--most of the time we have bad, wet,
cold and snowy weather.
In the last two snows Yuly’s south ranch got about 15" and 8" of wet snow
with lots of wind. At Dickinson we got 4 to 5" of snow in each of the two
snows, the last one was heavy-wet snow. Bonnie helps me to remove the snow
by cleaning up around the edge of the house and so on, while I do the hard
work and run the tractor & blower and blow the snow away. I noticed that it
was taken me longer than normal to get the job done, as we only have one
driveway some-thing was odd. Then I noticed that Bonnie was out in the
neighborhood volunteering my services (that is the snow blowing services) so
at 5½" driveways I quit. I have handed out a pink slip to Bonnie and am
looking for a helper that knows how to use a shovel for next winter.
Check your convention agenda, there is a NDPCS Road Show Friday afternoon
and on Saturday there will be a tour of Bonanzaville to see the Sveum
Rosemeade collection. Don’t forget the NDPCS Trivia on Saturday.
It has been enjoyable working with you people the past 6 years. Gail,
don’t take this the wrong way but you had a way of upsetting me a couple
times! It deals with your promises of a RHUBARB PIE that I never got.
By the way my ulterior motive to all this rambling on is that I hope no
body will ask me to write another one of these!!
Looking forward to seeing all of you at the convention. Thanks Craig &
Linda for chairing the convention. Can you believe it, 2019 and the 30th
anniversary/convention is just around the corner. Thank you in advance Ken
Metzen for stepping up as convention chairman.
Arley Olson VP & Historian
"Happiness by Chance"
By Robin Reynolds
grew out of the
16th Century Japanese tea ceremony and the making of tea bowls. Contemporary
is a unique interpretation of the Japanese tradition, a style attributed to
clay artist, Paul Soldner. The process incorporates dunking glow-ing,
red-hot fired pottery into chambers (metal pans/small garbage cans etc.)
containing combustibles like straw, sawdust, and paper. The chamber lid is
quickly used to douse the flames where the smokey/carbon impregnated
atmosphere inside the closed chamber will change the glaze in unforeseen
ways. Carbon blackens the unglazed areas of the pottery and creates patterns
or contrast between the glazed and unglazed areas of the piece.
temperature glaze is applied to pre-fired (bisque fired) pottery.
are formulated with low temperature frits or fluxes and a variety of
oxides, often cobalt or copper. A typical
firing takes approx. 45 minutes to reach 1,650-1,800 degrees F. The
red-hot pottery is drawn out of the hot kiln with long handled tongs by
folks wearing heat protective gloves and cloth-ing who place the pottery
into the combustion chambers. The pottery can smoke for a period that
varies from 15 minutes to overnight, for those who have patience to wait
that long! The resulting iridescent colorful glazes can range from "new
copper penny" to muted, smoky rainbow colors. There is no guarantee a
piece of pottery will not break in this firing technique or that the
glaze will develop desired hues, however "happiness by chance" is most
frequently the norm.
intangible, satisfying qualities of immediacy as an engag-ing, hands-on
process. Since it is unknown how the piece will look, it carries a degree of
suspense. It is a pleasant social time while the pots are firing or, later,
when they are cooling. When conducting workshops, I encounter a few folks
who are uncomfortable not to know exactly how their piece will look. In that
case, I encourage them to embrace "chance" and enjoy the process.
Editors Note: Reynolds operates Dacotah Clayworks, Hebron ND. Visit
information and her Raku Event. Raku Workshops
North Dakota Pottery
By Linda Bakken
Photos by Linda Bakken Arley Olson, and Sharon Smith
The theme of the 2018 NDPCS Convention
is wheat which is one of North Dakota’s main grain crops.
North Dakota is number one in the production of
hard red spring and durum. On average, the state's farmers grow nearly half
of the nation's hard red spring wheat (250 million bushels) and two-thirds
of the durum (50 million bushels). Some of the North Dakota potters
used wheat designs on their products. A selection of these is shown here.
these two wheat vases. The smaller one is 8” tall and is signed with
the ink stamp WPA CERAMICS N. DAK. The larger one is 14” tall and is
incised WPA CERAMICS N. DAK. It is interesting to note that the design
on the smaller vase is the much same as the 5 7/8” vase made by
Rosemeade. It is possible that Laura Taylor Hughes designed the vase
while she was at WPA and then took the design along to Rosemeade. WPA
made several other wheat vases
made two other wheat vases that had a small difference in designs. The
leaf crossing the stem on the left is in a slightly different position.
The larger one is 9” tall and the other is 7 1/4” inches tall. Some of
them are bottom marked North Dakota Rosemeade, some say just Rosemeade,
and a few have incised Rosemeade No. Dak. bottom marks. They also made
a number of other items with a wheat theme.
numerous items featuring wheat including the North Dakota vase by Julia
Mattson which features six different North Dakota scenes around the vase
plus a flickertail on the bottom. Wheat bundles or sheaves were put
into stacks which were called shocks back when threshing machines were
also made a wheat vase which is 5” tall.
made wheat sheaf curtain pulls. The one on the left is marked
Dickinson, N.D. The one on the right is marked Valley City, N.D. Both
have Dickota on the back.
curtain pull is made of scoria and has Dickota incised on the back.
The Dickota Powers Hotel ashtray features a wheat sheaf.
Heads of wheat are shown on the Mandan ashtray by Dickota.
More photos of North Dakota pottery
featuring wheat may be found in the references below.
of Dakota Potteries, Darlene H. Dommel, © 1996
Collector's Encyclopedia of Rosemeade Pottery, Darlene H. Dommel, © 2000
North Dakota Pottery, Dickota and WPA, Arley H. & Bonnie J. Olson © 2010
ABCs of Rosemeade, Linda J. Bakken © 2018
Click here for more
information about the 2018 CONVENTION
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