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Youngblood, Nathan – Jar with Raindrop Rim and Carved Avanyu

Youngblood, Nathan – Jar with Raindrop Rim and Carved Avanyu

7.75"w x 5"h
$ 7,500.00
Availability: Out of stock

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 wide shape and the rim is carved in a fluted or “raindrop” shape. This is a style which was used by Sarafina Tafoya on many of her early jars.  The last photo is a jar by Sarafina and you can see the “raindrop” rim.  Nathan said this may be the thinnest rim he has ever made on one of his pieces and still be able to stone polish both sides!

The jar is carved with a water serpent encircling the piece.  The body of the avanyu consists of cloud, water and kiva step designs.  Nathan says of the 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 red clay slip is deep and rich in coloration and the jar was traditionally fired.  The polishing is spectacular on this jar with an amazing shine from the stone polished surface!  While the shape, carving, and designing might seem like enough, Nathan also takes his pottery one step further. After it is fired, he uses small screwdrivers and scrapes the sides of the carved designs and the recessed areas, to create a visually striking contrast.  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 Space Between”: Santa Clara Carved Pottery 1920-Present


Out of stock


Artist

Artist

Youngblood, Nathan (b. 1954)

Nathan Youngblood

Nathan Youngblood

nathan youngblood

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A grandson of noted potter Margaret Tafoya and the son of Mela Youngblood, Nathan Youngblood has a traditonal legacy of highly polished deep carved pottery.  In 1976 he moved in with his grandparents and began an intense apprenticeship making pottery under their guidance.  Attention to the small details was also imparted to him by his mother and grandmother. The precision of his work is particularly evident in his forms, which have near geometric perfection in shape and symmetry.  Nathan says, “I realize I don’t make pots, I’m just involved in the process. The clay does what it wants to do, goes where it wants to go.  I stick my hands in the clay and where it goes, I follow.”

Nathan’s clay art has evolved dramatically throughout his career.  His early work focused on classic Santa Clara shapes and designs. In the early 1990s, Nathan re-examined his experiences with art from around the world and how it could be incorporated as part of his designs.  His love of Asian ceramics influenced how he designed his pottery and how he utilized matte and polished surfaces to emphasize form.  The designs seemed to be more complicated, less linear, and more ethereal in concept.  He “opened the door for other potters to use clay as a vehicle for their personal and cultural experiences.”

Over the years Nathan has won over 140 awards for his pottery. He is one of only a handful of Santa Clara potters who use natural clay slips to create color contrasts of red and tan in his pottery.  This combination of polished red and tan sections with matte or micaceous surfaces has become the new Santa Clara “polychrome.”  Throughout his career, he has continually built on the lessons learned from his mother and grandmother. This legacy has created a solid foundation for the evolution of his pottery and “he has set the bar high for any potter to balance creativity, innovation, and technical expertise.”

Click Here to see more works by Nathan Youngblood.

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An Interview with Nathan   Learn More about Pottery Making

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