Youngblood, Christopher – “Swirling Flame” Bowl
Christopher Youngblood creates intricately carved vessels that reflect a perfect balance of matte and polished surfaces with intricately carved designs. This bowl has a flame and cloud design. Starting from the base of the jar, the flame swirls extend upward. He has utilized the classic melon rib design in a flowing manner to capture the feel of the fire moving upwards to the rim of the bowl. Note the depth of carving on the bowl and the use of matte space. The matte areas are always problematic as if they are not perfectly sanded and smoothed they cast shadows of any unevenness. That is the success of this piece, which is the smooth matte surfaces which brings one’s eye back to the polishing and flowing swirls. 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, 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.