Nancy Youngblood is Mela Youngblood’s daughter and Margaret Tafoya’s granddaughter. She was inspired to make the swirl melon bowls when she saw one made by her great-uncle Camilio Tafoya. Each piece is coil-built, carved, stone polished, and native-fired. Nancy is focused on the artistry of her pottery and the traditions of Santa Clara Pueblo and her family.
When Nancy Youngblood began making pottery, she started with miniatures, creating intricate and tightly carved designs. Her melon ribbed vessels are among her best-known forms. There are a variety of styles, including straight ribs, swirl ribs, and “s” swirl ribs. Each variation required different techniques. Nancy also creates “free form” designs, which allow her to use the melon rib concept of abstract designs.
In 1989, she won “Best of Show” at Santa Fe Indian Market. This was a testament to the quality and integrity of her pottery art. Ten years earlier, Margaret Tafoya, her grandmother, also won “Best of Show.”
Today, Nancy Youngblood continues this fantastic legacy. Her sons, Christopher, Sergio, and Joseph, worked with the clay. It is essential to her that each of them learns the techniques and cultural importance of the clay. Nancy’s pottery can be found in museums worldwide. She has also been featured in numerous books, including “Crafted to Perfection,” “Born of Fire,” and “The Art of Clay.” She won “Best of Pottery” at the 2015 Santa Fe Indian Market for a large jar with melon ribs and a horse design. In 2018, she won “Best of Pottery” at Santa Fe Indian Market for a swirl water jar.