Youngblood, Nathan – 9″ Tall Jar with Medallions and Impressed Avanyu and Rainbows (2019)

6.5"w x 9"h

$ 10,800.00

This is a striking jar by Nathan Youngblood which is part of his series, “The Space Between”.  These pieces are inspired by the early carved work of Sarafina Tafoya (1863-1949) and Margaret Tafoya (1904-2001).  This jar is a shape that Nathan has often used in his work.  It is a tall water jar with an elongated neck.  There are four impressed avanyu around the neck and four rainbows around the base.  Each of these areas is slipped with micaceous clay.  The three large medallions, each has a different design.  There is one with rainclouds, one with a star, and a cloud motif.  The impressed avanyus around the top of the jar are inspired by the impressed work of Sarafina Tafoya.  Nathan said of the avanyu design:

 “The water serpent (avanyu) is not what people think of a ‘water snake’.  It is a reference to the way the rivers run.  They are all integrated and connect everything.  Creeks become streams, streams become rivers which become oceans.  The oceans are fed by everything around the world.  It binds us. That is why when we go to the water and throw in cornmeal and pray.  The water and water serpent connect us to the entire world.”

The impressed rainbows are another design seen in early carved/impressed Santa Clara pottery.  The last two photos show both the rainbow and avanyu designs on early Santa Clara pieces.  There is also a photo of this jar before it was polished and fired.  It’s always interesting to see a piece in the process!  The jar has an exceptional amount of carving and the polishing is Nathan’s “glass-like” surface.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay with his name and deer tracks, which represent his name in Tewa, which means “Deer Path”.   Simply stunning!  The jar is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

“The Space Between”: Santa Clara Carved Pottery 1920-Present