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Mela Youngblood began making pottery in the late 1960s and quickly achieved a distinctive style for her work. As an artist, Mela took the process of making her pottery very seriously. She decided that each piece she made had to be perfect, a trait which she passed on to her children, Nathan Youngblood, and Nancy Youngblood. Mela was a daughter of Margaret Tafoya and the mother of Nathan Youngblood and Nancy Youngblood. Of all of Margaret's daughters, she was the first one to create a storage jar which survived the firing process. Mela made pottery for such a short time so it is always exciting to see her distinctive pieces of influential pottery!

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Youngblood, Mela  – Bowl with Clouds and Avanyu (1980’s)

This is a striking larger bowl by Mela Youngblood.  She was a daughter of Margaret Tafoya and began making pottery in the late 1960’s and quickly achieved a distinctive style for her work.  Each piece of her work very highly polished and very deeply carved.  This bowl is carved with a water serpent encircling the piece.  Above the avanyu (water serpent) is a rounded cloud pattern.  Note the depth of the carving on the bowl!  It is fully polished and fired a deep black.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Mela Youngblood”.  It is beautifully polished and striking in design.

$ 2,000.00
Youngblood, Mela, Nathan & Nancy – Wide Bowl with Avanyu (1975)

This is a very unusual carved bowl with a triple signature of Mela Youngblood and her two children, Nathan Youngblood and Nancy Youngblood.  The bowl was made in 1975.   I asked Nathan and he thought this might be the only piece that has all three signature!  The bowl was made by Nathan and finished and polished by Nancy and Mela.  It has a very complex avanyu (water serpent) encircling the piece.  The carving is deep and the piece is highly polished.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Nathan Youngblood, Finished Nancy + Mela Youngblood, March 19, 1975”.  Definitely a classic and historically important bowl by all three of these significant potters!

$ 3,500.00
Youngblood, Mela  – Gourd Bowl (1974)

Mela Youngblood began making pottery in the late 1960’s and quickly achieved a distinctive style for her work.  Each piece of her work very highly polished and when carved the edges are distinctly rounded.  This bowl is a stylized version of the classic “gourd pot”. This style usually has indented areas on the surface of the vessel. On this piece Mela has created indentions on the side of the bowl leaving the top and bottom a fully polished surface.  The bowl was made in 1974 and it is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay.  It is beautifully polished and unique in its form.

$ 1,200.00
Youngblood, Mela  – Tall Water Jar with Carved Avanyu (1972) with Ribbon

This is one of the largest pieces we have seen by Mela Youngblood.  She began making pottery in the late 1960’s and quickly achieved a distinctive style for her work.  Each piece of her work very highly polished and when carved the edges are distinctly rounded.  This jar has a carved avanyu encircling the piece. Mela’s carving is distinctive with rounded edges to her carving.  The avanyu here is deeply carved and the entire jar is fully polished.  It is a stunning piece not just for the size, but also for the polishing and carving.  The jar won a blue ribbon at the 1972 Gallup Intertribal Ceremonials.  Mela’s name is on the ribbon and it is on the last two photos.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Mela Youngblood”.  It is certainly a rarity with great provenance and an important piece of Tafoya family history!

$ 5,500.00
Tafoya, Margaret & Mela Youngblood – Weddding Vase (1976)

Margaret Tafoya and her daughter, Mela Youngblood, made some pottery together in the 1970’s.  Typically, Margaret would make the piece and then it would be carved by either Mela or Alcario Tafoya (Margaret’s husband).  Some of the collaborative pieces I have seen were signed by all three.  This wedding vase is just signed by Mela and Margaret. The wedding vase is definitely Margaret’s shape. The carving has a mesa and lightning on one side and a mountain pattern on the other.  The carving design was done by Mela on this piece, as was the polishing.  It’s a striking piece and an interesting piece of history!  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Margaret Tafoya, Mela Youngblood”

$ 2,400.00
Youngblood, Mela  – Kiva Bowl (1970’s)

Mela Youngblood began making pottery in the late 1960’s and quickly achieved a distinctive style for her work.  Each piece of her work very highly polished and when carved the edges are distinctly rounded.  This bowl is a very classic style of Kiva Bowl.  This bowl is fully polished on the inside and outside. The bowl has the “kiva” three-step form on the sides.  The holes in the kiva step areas were traditionally included so that eagle feathers could be placed in them. Mela made few of these during her career. The bowl is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  The highly stone polished surface is striking!  It is signed on the bottom in the clay.

$ 1,500.00
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