This gorgeous Nemadji pitcher was acquired at an estate auction and is in excellent condition, free of chips, cracks or repairs. The words "Nemadji Pottery U.S.A." are stamped on its bottom, verifying the pitcher's authenticity. Its exterior has a matte, or unglazed, finish with primarily emerald- and sepia-tone colors that are quite enticing. The reason that the exterior of Nemadji Pottery is never glazed is that the swirls of color one sees on the surface are the natural colors of the clay from the Nemadji River that the artisans used; hence, no glazing is ever needed to add color.
Another fun attribute about this vintage pitcher is that its has a ribbed texture on its main body and spout. This feature is caused by how the clay was handled and molded prior to firing in a kiln.
Nemadji Tile and Pottery started production in Moose Lake, Minnesota, in 1923. Originally producing Nemadji Tile, the studio produced Nemadji Pottery during the Depression to fuel tourist markets, usually in the western and northeastern United States. The pottery was marketed as "resembling" ancient Indian artifacts, so Nemadji Pottery became known euphemistically as "Indian" pottery. The pottery's name, which roughly translates as "left-handed," originates from the Ojibwa language; however, the craftsmen were most likely Scandinavian.
Nemadji Pottery has a very distinctive look. It is typified by its swirled paint look, which was developed by Eric Hellman in 1929. Hellman went on to work for Van Briggle Pottery before World War II and opened the Garden of the Gods Pottery in Colorado Springs in 1950. The last Nemadji Pottery was produced during 2002.
One of the best incentives for collecting Nemadji Pottery lies in the fact that no two exteriors are ever the same. Though some of the shapes of various Nemadji Pottery pieces have been duplicated, the colorful swirls that decorate the exteriors are always unique. When fired in a kiln, the raw clay releases its inherent colors in matchless patterns. This is the creative, if not artistic, force of Nature at her most sublime. This stunning pitcher would make a great accent piece in your kitchen, dining room and living room - in fact, anywhere in your home or office where vibrant color is needed.