Youngblood, Nathan – “Summer Moon” Tri-Color Jar

4.25"w x 5"h

$ 5,600.00

This jar is part of a series Nathan Youngblood has made reflecting on the four seasons.  This jar is entitled “Summer Moon”.  The jar is a small storage jar.  The form is one that was made famous by Nathan’s grandmother, Margaret Tafoya.  During her career, each summer she would try and make one large storage jar and hope it would survive the drying and firing.  This jar brings to mind her storage jar shapes.  As well, there is a medallion on one side with a bear paw, which is the design usually seen on storage jars.  Interestingly, the medallion is slipped with red clay and mica and stone polished, giving it a distinctive coloration.  As the jar is turned, on the opposite side, there is another medallion.  This medallion has the summer moon rising through the clouds over the mesa near the Pueblo.  Separating the two medallions are cloud, lightning, mountain, and mesa patterns. There are bands of matte areas separating the carved sections and the rim is polished red.  The base is polished tan, making this a true “tri-color” jar.  The jar is very tightly carved with small, complex designs.  As you may know, years ago Nathan designed a line of jewelry and this tight carving was inspired by the designs of his jewelry imagery. The carving is amazingly deep with sharp edges and the sections are polished a deep red. It was traditionally fired and on Nathan’s red pieces, after they are fired, he uses screwdrivers to scrape the background area and the side of the carving.  This can take almost as much time as the carving or polishing itself!  Amazing the amount of time that goes into each vessel and yet how stunning they appear!  It is signed on the bottom in the clay with his name and hallmarked name in Tewa, which means “Deer Path”.

Nathan says of his pottery:

“I’ve come to realize that each pot was a prayer. When you are designing, you convey your message using the symbols of a prayer. That’s why most of the pieces we make have some sort of water design on it. A prayer for water—rain, snow, some sort of moisture. Living in the Southwest, everyone is thinking about water. It’s a collective way of praying for moisture. Anything that will hold water, I put some sort of a water design on it.” Nathan Youngblood, Spoken Through Clay.