Youngblood, Christopher – Pueblo Birds and Rainclouds
Christopher Youngblood creates intricately carved vessels that reflect a perfect balance of matte and polished surfaces with intricately carved designs. This jar is carved is deeply carved and highly polished making it a gem in clay! The jar has two large birds as the design. They are in the style seen in Pueblo pottery. The one bird has a large bill and the body has eight bands of “s” swirl melon ribs. The bird on the opposite side another larger bird with six slanted swirls. Separating the birds on one side are clouds, lightning, and raindrops. The opposite side has raindrops that extend to the base. Check out how each “drop” is carved into the clay in a diamond shape. Each is so deeply carved and highly polished! As well, note the matte area, which has been smoothed down in contrast with the polished surfaces. The polishing on the jar is exceptional, with a glass-like surface. The piece was traditionally fired a deep black. It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “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. 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