All photos (C) 2014 by Michelle Lee
Raw Nemadji Clay, found near Moose Lake, MN
Banks of the Nemadji River
We went on a mission to dig Nemadji Clay. Didn’t have to go far to find it, as the Nemadji River snakes its way throughout Carlton County. Nemadji Township was the site of an early brick works factory in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The clay was easily found. The old township sign can still be found, although it seems to move around a bit. Last time I was out there it was on the other side of the gravel road.
Eric Hellman was hired by Nemadji Pottery and Tile to create and design the first line of Nemadji pottery and to create master molds that would set the stage for decades of production for the Moose Lake based pottery. He also introduced the “cold” painting process that gave Nemadji Pottery its unique swirls.
This is a link to newspaper article about Eric Hellman.
to see more of Hellman’s work, visit Broadmoor Pottery
New collectors often ask me where they can find the good stuff. It is still out there you just have to look. Antique malls, garage sales, Ebay are all good places to start. Soon your eyes will be trained to spot the colorful swirl painted pottery and you are on your way.
These pieces are on their way to the Lakeside Traders Antique Mall in Moose Lake, Minnesota. They are made with red Nemadji Clay and Buff Clay from Wrenshall. All three were produced in Moose Lake, Minnesota in the 40’s and 50’s.
Nemadji Indian Pottery handmade in Moose Lake, Minnesota in the early to mid 1900’s.