Youngblood, Nathan – Black and Tan Box with Avanyu and Double Lid

5.5"w x 3.5"h (w/ tan lid), 6"h w/ second lid

$ 4,800.00

This is an extraordinary piece by Nathan Youngblood.  It is one of his few boxes and this is one of the only ones with a double lid!  The box itself is round and fully carved with a water serpent. The avanyu (water serpent) encircles the entire piece.  The lid is fully carved and polished tan.  Tan is one of the most difficult colors to achieve in Pueblo pottery.  Why?  It is water instead of a clay slip that is used to polish the piece.  Polish too hard and it is streaky, and not hard enough and it is dull.  When a piece is traditionally fired it also takes in more smoke which changes the color.  Finally, the second “lid” is carved and slipped with mica.  The story on the piece reflects both the color and designs.

“The circular box is carved with an avanyu.  It encircles the entire piece and the body is made up of various water designs  The lid is fully carved and looking down on it, it represents the land around above and surrounding the waterways of the avanyu.  I used the tan to represent the color of the earth.  There is a single hole in the lid, which represents the connection between the land and the water below. I made a “lid” which sits in the hole and it is a carved to represent a tree. It is bringing the water up from below to grow.  This is the connection of water, land and life.”  Nathan Youngblood

All three pieces were traditionally fired. The box and “tree lid” are fired black.  It has a wonderful coloration which is “water like” in appearance.  The lid is tan, which is always difficult to polish and fire.  This piece has perfect firing and the result is a caramel coloration, which is always so rich and distinctive for the tan fired vessels.   The pieces are signed with Nathan’s name and his signature of three deer tracks.  They represent his name in Tewa, which means “Deer Path”.