Nemadji Pottery

one of the things i’d like to do at home is build up my ceramics & glassware collection. i’ve been buying a few knick knacks here and there, which is always a slow process as you tend to find them sporadically (and need to resist the urge to buy an entire collection that you won’t necessarily love years down the line). so when i spotted these colourful marbled pots on Etsy i kind of fell in love, and did a bit of reading up on their origin. found this little piece of which explains,

Nemadji pottery is that early 20th century invention that somehow got mixed up with a Native American tribe. The Minnesota-based Nemadji pottery company began manufacturing this colorful, swirled pottery in 1929 and promoted it as being “Indian inspired.” Over the years, advertising became truth in the minds of many, leading to mistaken claims over authentic Native American pottery.

i would probably end up filling my house with these, if only i could get my hands on some locally. you can find them on Etsy and eBay – click on the pictures to be taken to the source (some of them are already sold, unfortunately!)



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26 Responses to Nemadji Pottery

  1. call me debbie Monday 27 August, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    They are not painted afterwards right? I think that colored clays were molded so that colorful shapes would appear. No?

     In Whirl of Inspiration

    • Miss Moss Monday 27 August, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

      the colours come naturally from the clay as far as i know.

  2. zera Monday 27 August, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    lovely! I also have growing need for ceramics. Check Linck ceramics from switzerland. You might like them. Unfortunately the website is under construction.

  3. Kara Monday 27 August, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    these are so easy to come by where I live (Indiana). It’s nice that they are not that valuable or rare as they are so beautiful!

  4. Monica @ All Things Lovely Monday 27 August, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    wow, love these. thanks for sharing!

  5. christina Monday 27 August, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    love them! so natural and beautiful

  6. Stephanie @ Snacking ☀n Sunshine Monday 27 August, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    Oh, these are just beautiful. I love that the colors are all natural. Mama Nature is the most talented artist <3

  7. Heather Monday 27 August, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    Wow these are gorgeous! Love them!!
    xo Heather

  8. Sarah Tuesday 28 August, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    these are so unique and organic. I love that they’re semi-Native American! beautiful!

  9. Clare Wednesday 29 August, 2012 at 1:42 am #

    Thankyou for this post! Just beautiful stuff! If you like it, google David Pottinger. He doesn’t have a web presence, but you can find some posts, and some galleries that show his stuff. He’s an amaaaaaazing ceramacist. I bought a little vessel of his last year, and it still feels fresh and new, looking at it every single day.

  10. caroline Wednesday 29 August, 2012 at 2:28 am #

    these are so, so stunning.

  11. {gemmifer} Wednesday 29 August, 2012 at 4:05 am #

    Such beautiful colors and forms. This style of pottery is new to me; thank you for introducing me to it!

  12. Alexa Y. Wednesday 29 August, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    These are absolutely lovely. I love the swirls of color!

  13. guttercherry Wednesday 29 August, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    I have about four or five pieces that I inherited from my Grandmother. I always thought that they were native too. I’ve had them on display for years because they are so pretty. Now I feel very fashionable – thanks!

  14. anna Thursday 30 August, 2012 at 7:29 am #

    these are beautiful!

  15. Sarah Friday 31 August, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    Thank you for this lovely bit of information! I had never seen any pottery like this before, and I spotted two of these in an antique shop the day after reading this post. Beautiful.

  16. Mabel and Zora Saturday 1 September, 2012 at 12:30 am #

    I’m SWOONING! These are absolutely gorgeous. I am going to scour Etsy now!

  17. Libby @ pinkshirtsandcarwrecks Monday 10 September, 2012 at 2:24 am #

    Thank you so much for including my piece in your post! It went to a new good home :)

    Actually, to set the record straight: The distinctive marbleized pattern was hand painted to look like the real thing to market in the tourist trade. They were made to look like natural clay patterns and colors, but alas, they are indeed painted.

    Nemadji pottery, or “Indian Pottery” was made in the Arrowhead region of Minnesota starting in the 1920s. While never actually made by American Indians, it was a style of pottery created to be reminiscent of the vessels they made long ago with clay from the Nemadji river. No two are exactly alike, which makes it fun to collect.

    I know, it’s confusing!

  18. Hana Ryan Monday 10 September, 2012 at 3:16 am #

    This reminds me of burl wood. Love, love, love.

  19. Georgia Wednesday 28 November, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    these are amazing I’ve never seen such stunning decorative techniques! thanks for sharing!

  20. evadney Friday 5 April, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    Bought a lovely piece at a thrift shop. Holding it close to my heart.I am so delighted.

  21. Nala Wednesday 22 May, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    There is an art gallery in Claremont, CA (The Colony @ Loft 204) It is in the 1st Street Packing House. They will have at least a dozen pieces for sale in June (2013).

  22. Carolyn Friday 9 August, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    Your pictures are some Nemadji pottery and some are Garden of the Gods. I own over 100 pieces of Nemadji, two of which are lamps.
    I love them. The majority were formed using molds. The colors come from a technique dropping paint on the surface of water and then dripping the pot into the water. Each pot is then unique in design. Nemadji have a light interior where Garden of the Gods have a very dark interior. I collect only Nemadji but some a few sample of the Garden ones.

  23. Michelle Lee Thursday 19 September, 2013 at 3:29 am #

    For those of you who are looking for more information on Nemadji pottery, my book, The Myth and Magic of Nemadji “Indian” Pottery is available on Amazon. I spend over 20 years researching the pottery that was produce in the town where I live. It has color photos, stamp marks and the true history of this beautiful pottery. The information in this book is often quoted by experts and appraisers. It is a must for the serious and no so serious Nemadji collectors.
    Michelle Lee

  24. Kathy Thursday 26 June, 2014 at 10:44 pm #

    Hello! I received one of these as a gift and it’s just stunning. I was wondering if you had any suggestions on what to plant in one? Right now, it’s just a decor item with nothing in it, but I’m afraid that it will get knocked over and wanted to try to weigh it down by planting something in it. Thanks!

  25. Jerry Monarch Friday 10 October, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

    The colors on Nemadji pottery are probably applied by swirling oil paint on top of water and then dipping the pot into the colors. This was a technique we used in the 1950’s to get color swirled onto glasses, jars, etc. as vases and pencil holders for our parents.

    I have bought and enjoyed pieces of Nemadji for 20-30 years. I just bought two pieces this week at two separate estate sales.

    I am not sure I would plant anything in a piece of art pottery. I know the later pieces of Nemadji have a clear glaze on the interior and can probably survive being used as a planter (but I would hesitate). Even these pots do not have a drain hole.

    I have seen pieces of real native American pots ruined by the water that seeps through the pot and flakes off glazes or leaves a salt deposit on the exterior.

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