Begaye, Nathan – Seedpot with Butterfly Design (1997)
Nathan Begaye was a unique innovator among Pueblo and Navajo potters. His ethnic ancestry of both Hopi and Navajo let his work flow between the two distinctive styles and yet find their own unique space. His work used traditional designs, forms, and techniques, yet somehow appeared very modern. This seedpot is oval in shape. It is slipped with green and red clay in a spiral from top to bottom. It is then painted with a very complex butterfly on the top. Note the precision and detail in the wings! The bottom of the piece is interesting, as he used gold luster along with a purple clay slip. The style on the bottom is reminiscent of the pottery of Rick Dillingham (who wrote the 14 Families book). Rick was an early advocate of Nathan’s pottery and it later influenced Nathan’s reconstructed pottery, along with the use of materials like gold luster. The seedpot was traditionally fired. It is signed on the bottom, “Nathan B. 5-20-97”. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.