Youngblood, Christopher – Jar with Two Koi
Christopher Youngblood creates intricately carved vessels that reflect a perfect balance of matte and polished surfaces with intricately carved designs. This jar is carved with two koi as the design. Chris has often used koi as designs on his pottery. He created a large vessel with koi with which he won “Best of Pottery” at Santa Fe Indian Market in 2014. This small jar has two koi facing each other. Their scales are fully carved and now how the two tails are carved in a manner that they seem in motion. The “whiskers” of the koi are slipped with mica. There are complex mica swirls around the base of the jar which represent water. Chris said of his koi:
I decided on the koi, and this time I polished each of the scales on both fish. I designed the piece to have two koi with interlocking tails. From there I added the water; the water circles, the waves, and plant life on the sides. For me, the melon ribs look cool as waves. They give it a different dimension than if I had just put squiggly lines to represent the water.
Note the complexity of the design and the highly polished surface. The jar was traditionally fired a deep black and 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. He was featured in the book, Spoken Through Clay, and continues to be one of the leading young potters working today.