Youngblood, Nathan – Tan Polished “Egg” – 3 Pieces

7"w x 8.5"h

$ 7,800.00

Nathan Youngblood is one of those few potters who has actually created new shapes which are unique in Pueblo pottery.  His “teardrop-shaped” plates and his “eggs” are the two most famous of his innovative forms.  This egg is three pieces, each perfectly designed to fit with the next piece. The base is carved with a cloud pattern. The top of the egg is carved with rain and cloud symbols. The bottom half of the egg has walking bear paw, mountain patterns, and an encircling avanyu.  All three pieces are fired tan, which 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.  This piece has perfect firing and the result is a caramel coloration, which is always so rich and distinctive for the tan fired vessels.  All three pieces are signed with Nathan’s name and deer tracks, which represents his name in Tewa.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

The story of the Santa Clara Eggs!  Nathan Youngblood made over 15 eggs during this experimentation with this form in the early 2000s.  The first one he made was massive, as each “half” was over 14″ long (basically the size of two large tear drop shaped plates!!).  It was the only large one he made.  He then began making smaller three part eggs.  The first small egg was made in 2002 and it was red with a matte swirl base (see the last photo).  After that, he began to modify the base so that they were carved and more complementary to the overall shape.  He made at least five all-black ones, and they are the most common.  There are two which are black and tan (half the egg fired black, the other half fired tan).  There is one which is a tan egg with a red polished base.  This is the only egg which is all tan in coloration.  The last egg he made was around 2010.  Want to see more of them or hear more about this unique piece of Pueblo pottery history? Let me know and I’ll write an article for the website.