This message reflects a sincere hope that you are healthy and are enjoying summer and safely connecting with family and friends in this uncertain time.
The 31st annual NDPCS convention which was to be held in Bismarck ND this year fell victim to Covid 19 and was postponed to 2021. It was a huge disappointment to be unable to gather with you and share our knowledge and experience with North Dakota Pottery. The good news is that we will convene next June 11-13 at the Ramkota Inn in Bismarck and we will all be a year older and more mature!
I want to thank Ann Dietchman, Jeremy Dietchman and Todd Hanson for their efforts in rescheduling the 2020 convention and making the arrangements for the upcoming 2021 convention. I am sure we will all have some stories to tell about this past year.
I want to thank board members and committee chairs for their flexibility during this challenging time! As a board, we needed to make decisions without knowing what the future would look like weeks or months from now. For example, Nate Leben, Commemorative chair is making sure your commemorative will arrive by mail or even personal delivery! Jeremy Dietchman, Endowment chair worked to inform Endowment requests that we need to hold them until next year’s convention pursuant to a vote at the annual meeting. Deanna Reynolds, Newsletter Editor, needed to delay the last newsletter until we could provide more accurate information. I want to thank everyone for their willingness to go with the flow!
Linda Bakken will be retiring as our Webmaster and I would like to thank her for her tireless efforts providing this organization with a first-class website. Not only does that include updating information, but answering questions directed to the site and organizing the member auction. Tess Erickson has agreed to be our new Webmaster, so please welcome her and support her as she takes over.
Finally, I wanted to share a piece of North Dakota pottery that holds some special meaning for me. My dad traveled western South Dakota supplying office products to business and government offices. As a kid he used to drag me along in the summer and dump me off at motels in Mobridge and Eagle Butte and the Kuilman’s Motel in Lemmon. I would sneak over to the Petrified Wood Park and get into trouble so these Messer shakers always hold memories for me!
Muddy Waters Clay Center
by Nate Leben
I was fortunate enough to tour the Muddy Waters Clay Center on my recent trip to North Dakota. Doc Jenson, our potter for the 2020 Commemorative, was kind enough to give me a behind the scenes look at how he made our commemoratives. It was awesome!
A bit about the potter:
Dr. Warren Jensen is a true North Dakotan in a sense that not only was he born in Grafton, raised in Cavalier, and has spent most of his life in ND, but he truly is the epitome of "North Dakota nice". Dr. Jensen received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Dakota and received his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco. He was in private practice for eight years in Cavalier before engaging in a NASA-sponsored residency in Aerospace Medicine. Dr. Jensen was a professor at UND’s Odegard School of Aero-space Sciences for 24 years, where he taught a variety of courses in his field. I was fortunate to have him for 2 classes throughout my years at UND - Human Factors and Flight Physiology.
Dr. Jensen’s first experience in pottery was as a student at UND and later took courses through Grand Forks Community Education and UND. A founding member of the Muddy Waters Clay Center, his primary interest is functional pottery. He enjoys teaching the beginner throwing class at the Center. A part of his artistic outlet is to donate pottery to worthwhile charitable groups in the region. He is pleased and honored to be asked to provide the commemorative plate to the NDPCS.
Next time you’re in Grand Forks, it’s worth your time to stop in and see the pottery for sale at Muddy Waters Clay Center! Address: 2014 13th Ave N, Grand Forks, ND.
Doc Jensen standing next to his pottery for sale at Muddy Waters Clay Center (left) and hard at work hand-painting our commemoratives (right). He said he is able to paint about 20 commemoratives per day. Why might a doctor be interested in making pottery, you ask? He says it’s a relaxing hobby and loves to listen to rock music while he is expressing his artistic abilities.
The various stages of our commemoratives. Testing paint and glaze colors (left), pieces awaiting to be painted (middle), and almost a finished product before final firing (right). It was fun to see all of the testing that was involved before deciding not only what looked the best, but also what worked and what didn’t with certain colors.
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