WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published June 12, 2010, 09:25 PM

100 Years of UND Ceramics

Pottery collectors from around the area are in Grand Forks this weekend for the 21st annual North Dakota Pottery Collectors Society convention. They're also celebrating 100 years of UND ceramics.

By: Meagan Millage, WDAZ

"It's just her style- It's her style, it's her craftsmanship, certainly her designs," UND pottery collector Curt Rustand says.

Curt Rustand is describing the famous pottery of Margaret Kelly Cable.

She is known as the heart and soul of pottery in its founding years at the University of North Dakota.

This year's North Dakota Pottery Collectors Society convention is celebrating 100 years of UND Pottery.

The first 50 years are celebrated as Margaret Cable's historic art-pottery era.

"I think that that's probably exemplary of the best pottery that was made here. That, I think, is very significant because of who she was, what she did, and all her accomplishments. And her influence on so many people, even through today," Rustand says.

Lorene Jasper worked under Cable in the mid 1930's.

She got her start when she worked as a secretary for the dean at the School of Mines.

"He said I'd like to have you get acquainted with what we do here, and you can start by going down in the ceramic department and learning something about that pottery," Lorene Jasper, Cable's student and friend, says.

Jasper says ceramics were turning into an art-form then, and Cable mixed poetry into her pottery.

"The concept of the ceramics at that time was changing. It wasn't just going to make things for electricity and things like that. It was going to be for pottery and for sale," Jasper says.

Cable's pieces often depicted North Dakota nature and American Indian images.

"For instance, that one there, you can see its quite involved- it took a little skill and time," Jasper says.

The Cable Years Exhibit is at the UND Gallery in Columbia Mall and closes tomorrow.