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Q: I have a sugar and creamer from the Pine Ridge Sioux Indians. I purchased them at a yard sale about 20 years ago. On the bottom it is signed “O. Cottier” and “Pine Ridge Sioux.” It is also marked with a pine tree design. I did some research. Olive Cottier is a sister of Ella Irving, aka Ella Woody aka Ella Cox, whose pottery is in the Smithsonian Institution. Just wondering if there is any value to my sugar and creamer.

A: In the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) set up a program to teach students at the Pine Ridge Indian reservation boarding school how to make pottery. Experienced artists and potters were brought in to teach. Olive Cottier (1909-1974) and her sisters, Ella and Bernice, were students in the program. Sometime after the WPA program ended, Ella bought a building in Pine Ridge, S.D., where the sisters continued to make pottery from local clays. Ella and Olive made the pottery and Bernice decorated it. Their pottery closed in the 1980s. Your sugar and creamer set is worth about $75.

 


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