Q: While going through my grandma's estate, we came across a blue vase marked "University of North Dakota, Made at School of Mines, N.D. Clay, 1930, Grand Forks, N.D." She once told me she picked it up at a garage sale for a quarter. It is also incised "LHB" and "1930," but we cannot determine the artist's name or the vase's value. Is there a way to find out who made it and what it's worth?
A: The North Dakota School of Mines was established at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks in 1898. Marcia Bisbee made the university's first pottery in 1904. The university offered a ceramics course in 1909 and a Ceramics Department was established in 1910. Artists and students made pottery from clays found in the region. Very early pieces were marked "U.N.D." Pieces marked with a circular seal with the name of the university were made from 1913 until 1963. Many pieces were also marked with the name or initials of the artist or student who made the piece, but it's difficult to find any information about most of them. The identity of "LHB" remains a mystery. Value of your vase: about $200.