(Santa Clara Pueblo, b. 1955)
Overall: 15 x 23.1 cm (5 7/8 x 9 1/8 in.)
James Albert and Mary Gardiner Ford Memorial Fund 1994.199
Nancy Youngblood is known for “melon” jars with deep, perfectly regular, hand-carved ribs—here, 32 swirl dramatically around the chamber, each polished to a sheen. Youngblood belongs to Santa Clara Pueblo’s fabled Tafoya pottery family and she is committed to preserving family techniques and forms, including the melon. She works in black ware, a Santa Clara tradition, and takes no shortcuts, offering a prayer before digging her own clay, building the vessel with clay coils, patiently polishing with handed-down polishing stones, and firing in an open fire rather than a kiln.
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