Youngblood, Christopher – Square Box with Four Melon Rib Designs
Christopher Youngblood creates intricately carved vessels which reflect a perfect balance of matte and polished surfaces with intricately carved designs. This box is square 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 four different styles of melon ribs. Each goes a different direction or has a variation in the swirl but they each flow seamlessly into the next side! Carving and the polishing to create this seamless flow is difficult but the results are striking. The lid has additional melon ribs extending down on both sides. The piece was traditionally fired (see the last two photos) inside a metal box to keep out smoke and create a more consistent coloration. The result, however, is a striking coloration to the red and the contrasting matte surface. 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.