1960's Pine Ridge Vase - Sioux Indian - Ella Woody

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  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Jul 11, 2010
  • Channel: Auction House


Pine Ridge Pottery


Ella Woody (Irving)

Up for auction is a beautiful Native American Indian vase. This vintage Pine Ridge pottery vase was hand made by the highly sought after potter/artist, Ella Woody (Irving) in the 1960's. This Sioux Indian vase is marked and signed on the bottom. T is also a piece of tape placed on the bottom by the person who bought the vase to remind them w and when it was purchased. The tape reads: "Great Falls Montana, Charlie M. Russell - 1969." This would be a great vase to add to your collection.

I am also selling an additional souvenir vase purchased by this same person. This vase is marked "Made in Mexico." The tape on the bottom of this vase reads: Wall S.D. -1936."

Description & Condition:

Pine Ridge Vase:

Approximately 5 1/8" tall x 5" in diameter Marked on the bottom: Pine Ridge - Sioux Indian - Woody" Red clay Excellent condition with no chips, cracks, or crazing Tape indicates that this vase was made around 1969.

Made in Mexico Vase:

Approximately 4 5/8" tall x 3 7/8" diameter Marked on the bottom "Made in Mexico" Excellent condition with no chips, cracks, or crazing Tape indicates that is vase was made around 1936.

Pine Ridge Pottery History:

"Among those trained by Doyle were three sisters of Sioux origin who are credited with continuing the Pine Ridge pottery after the high school program ended. Ella Irving (known as Ella Woody during the late '30s and Ella Cox during the 1940s) secured a loan to purchase a log building in downtown Pine Ridge to continue pottery production. Clay was dug near this area and glazes were produced locally, as at the school. Ella and company continued using the incised mark "Pine Ridge Sioux" sometimes including the word "Indian", under a pine tree on a ridge. Ella and her sister Olive (also known as "Ollie") Cottier threw pots on the wheel, while the third sister, Bernice Talbot did the work of casting, glazing and decorating the pottery.

Pine Ridge produced a good variety of ware, much having geometric cream-colored slip decoration executed in sgraffito (glaze applied then scratched away in decorative patterns, revealing the clay underneath). The clay was often red and covered with a clear glaze. Plain glazes of several colors were featured as well. Peter Flaherty commented that the pieces with a milky top glaze are particularly beautiful.

T appears to be some debate about the precise timing of events surrounding pottery production at the Pine Ridge high school. Peter's notes tell that the Irving sisters took over at the high school, but quit in 1943 when Bill Artis was hired as the new director of Pine Ridge pottery. In addition, Peter's information notes that it was 1955 when Ella Irving secured a loan and bought the pottery from the Pine Ridge boarding school. The demise of Ella's efforts appears to have come in the 1980's when her shop was vandalized and equipment was stolen. Production ceased at this time, despite continuing demand for the pottery.

In Sept. of 1999, at the age of 93, Ella Irving was awarded the 10th annual South Dakota Living Indian Treasure Award in recognition of her contributions to Native American art forms. Her pottery can be found around the world, including in the Smithsonian Institute.

Clay for Pine Ridge pottery included red clay from the Pine Ridge reservation and a white clay from the Black Hills. Some additional marks on the pottery included Ella Irving's pieces marked "Woody" (her married name) and "E. Cox" (from her second marriage). Pieces from 1930something until 1942 were marked "Oglala Lakota Sioux", signed by Bruce Doyle. "Ramona Wounded Knee" was the signature used by Olive Cottier. "OCHS" marking signifies Oglala Community High School, the name of the boarding school. And from 1930something until about 1941 pieces were signed by "Nora Fire Thunder".

Dommel, Darlene. (1996) Dakota Potteries."

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