Youngblood, Christopher – Elongated Box with Avanyu & Avanyu Lid
Christopher Youngblood creates intricately carved vessels which reflect a perfect balance of matte and polished surfaces with intricately carved designs. This box is rectangular in shape. Creating boxes is always technically difficult as the flat sides can easily crack during drying or firing. This piece is fully carved on the outside and the inside of the box has a micaceous clay slip. The side of the box has two avanyu encircling the piece. The body of each avanyu consists of rain and lightning designs. The Avanyu, or water serpent, is a design often seen in Santa Clara Pueblo pottery and is part of a story where the avanyu saves the village from a flood. The lid is as exceptional as the box, as it is flat and fully carved. The sides of the finial each have a water serpent as the design. The flat part of the lid has swirling water designs. Note the smooth matte areas in contrast to the highly polished relief areas. The last photos are of the bowl being traditionally fired black. It is signed on the bottom in the clay. I’m pleased that I have been working with Chris since 2010 when I wrote the first article on him for Native People’s magazine. It is exciting to see how his work has progressed over the years and the awards for his pottery, including the 2104 “Best of Pottery” at Santa Fe Indian Market. He was featured in the book, Spoken Through Clay, and continues to be one of the leading young potters working today.
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