Youngblood, Christopher – Jar with Carved Avanyu, Raindrop and Flower Designs
Christopher Youngblood creates intricately carved vessels that reflect a perfect balance of matte and polished surfaces with intricately carved designs. This jar has a narrow base and straight sides. The surface is fully carved with a water serpent (avanyu) encircling the piece. The avanyu is carved in a complex manner with swirls and lightning, changing as the jar is turned. Above the avanyu are large rounded raindrops, while there is a flower design extending up from the base. Each of the raindrops and petals are rounded out and then fully polished. The jar was fired to a deep, glossy black. The last photo shows the jar in process before it was polished. The jar is a striking balance of rounded and flat surfaces along with rounded designs at the top and bottom. The contrasting edges and curves work to reflect the light beautifully across the surface. It is signed on the bottom, ‘Chris Youngblood”. 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 2014 “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.
Chris has said of his pottery:
“I’ve had generations of people before me who have had to learn the hard way. I’ve had that information given to me without having to go through all the struggles. But, I would say on the flip side, having someone so technically advanced as your teacher (Nancy Youngblood), let alone your mother, it’s hard. The expectations are a lot higher. I’ve learned that now, I never think it’s done. I keep going until I cannot find anything I can refine or add to the piece. To achieve an ever-higher level of precision takes a lifetime. ’s not something you learn, it’s something you live.” Christopher Youngblood, Spoken Through Clay