Charles Grantier was born in Williston, North Dakota and grew up on a ranch about twenty miles north of Watford City, North Dakota. In 1929, he enrolled in the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks and elected to major in art. He became interested in ceramics and took a job as a student assistant in the UND Ceramics Department. After graduating in 1932, Grantier worked as a school teacher until 1935, when he accepted a position as a ceramic artist for the Dickota Pottery Company of Dickinson, North Dakota. Using western North Dakota clay, Dickota Pottery made bowls, vases, pitchers, souvenirs and other ceramic products. Dickota Pottery ceased production in 1937. Grantier then resumed teaching school until 1939, when he was offered the position of State Supervisor of the Work Projects Administration Federal Arts Project (WPA/FAP) in North Dakota. This was a New Deal program of the Franklin Roosevelt Administration, designed to employ artists and to train non-artists to earn wages in craftsmanship. Under Grantier's directorship, the FAP in North Dakota expanded production, eventually employing as many as eighteen people at one time. Various ceramic products were produced, including bowls, cups, pitchers, plaques, lamps, vases, bookends and paperweights. Initially, all pottery was fired at Dickota Pottery (from 1936-1937), Fort Yates, North Dakota and the University of North Dakota. Shortly after Grantier became State Supervisor, the WPA obtained a kiln of its own, and from then on, all firing was done in Mandan, North Dakota. Grantier served as WPA/FAP State Supervisor until the project's termination in 1942. Following this, Grantier worked for two years as a caretaker at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park in Mandan and then resumed teaching school until his retirement.
Barr, Margaret Libby, Donald Miller and Robert Barr. University of North Dakota Pottery: The Cable Years. Fargo, ND: Knight Printing Company, 1977.
Charles Grantier Oral History Interview (OGLMC 1366).
Dommel, Darlene Hurst. Collector's Encyclopedia of the Dakota Potteries: Identification and Values. Paducah, KY: Collectors Books, 1996.