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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


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