Youngblood, Nancy – Large Box with Shell Designs with Shell & Avanyu Lid
This is an exceptional large box by Nancy Youngblood. It is not often that she makes boxes and this particular piece combines many different techniques used in her pottery. The box is an elegant shape with a length, width and height proportionality that works for the size. The sides of the box have shells on them, and not how each ridge of the shell is rounded out like her straight melon ribs! The ends of the box have circular shells. The use of shells reflects the shells used on traditional dancers at the Pueblo and that they have been used culturally for centuries. The top of the box has a carved and polished avanyu encircling the handle, which is a double sided shell. One visually dynamic aspect of the box is the how she has sanded the matte areas so that they are so smooth. It is a critical part of pieces as any uneven surface is revealed in the light as a small shadow! The polished surfaces just glow with the reflection of the light. Consider that each shell edge or swirling shell has two “sides”to be polished and the surface area of the piece is about double its size! This box is from 2008 and came originally from Nancy to the gallery and now it has come back to us. It is in perfect condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. Nancy has won numerous awards for her melon bowls and this is undoubtedly a classic and important piece of her pottery.