Youngblood, Nancy – 32 Straight Rib Mellon Bowl with Shell Lid (2022)

4"w x 5.25"h (w/ lid)

$ 8,800.00

This is a classic straight ribbed melon bowl by Nancy Youngblood.  The bowl is coil built and each rib is deeply carved into the clay.  The depth of the carving and the symmetry of each rib is exceptional. This is certainly one of the enduring aspects of her incredible artistry.  Each rib is then polished with a stone to achieve the shine.  Nancy has a particular stone that allows her to polish so deeply and the piece has a glassy surface.  The bowl has a lid that fits perfectly into the top.  It is a shell lid and note how there are 11 deeply carved sections on each side of the lid for a total of 22!  The lid is also fully polished. The jar was traditionally fired a deep, red coloration.  Consider that each rib has two sides and how much surface area there is for this piece and the lid! Nancy says she can only polish three ribs in one sitting as they are so time-consuming.  There is something visually striking about the symmetry and depth of her straight 32 rib pieces and how the light hits the surface.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Nancy Youngblood 2022”.

Nancy said of her straight rib pieces:

Technically it’s really hard to keep the little end of the rib at the top and the very bottom even and not break.  That’s my style of lid with the round top. My grandmother [Margaret Tafoya] used to do those on a larger scale years ago, but when she got to be in her late seventies she stopped doing that kind of lid. It was tough to do. My lids are different from most other potters’ lids. Some people do “floaters”; my grandmother did that a lot of times. I always like to fit the lid into the piece. That is the hardest thing to do. I fire the lid with the piece.” Nancy Youngblood, Spoken Through Clay