Youngblood, Nathan – Tri-Color Serving Plate
11"h x 10"w
Nathan Youngblood is known for his deeply carved and highly polished pottery. This plate shape was inspired by the traditional Santa Clara serving bowls, which had an indention for the thumb to hold them when serving. Nathan took that shape and added the same indention on the opposite side, creating his own distinctive form. The interior of the plate is fully carved and polished a deep red. The design is a central medallion of clouds, rain, and water, surrounded by cloud motifs above and below. Interestingly, while the rim is polished tan, there are two sections which are carved into the rim of the plate. This is always technically more complicated and adds to the risk of breaking when firing. 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. This style has been called, “the new Santa Clara polychrome”, although I usually called it “tri-color” with the variations of red, matte and buff areas. The plate was traditionally fired. It is signed on the back in the clay with his name and deer tracks, which represent his name in Tewa.