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NAVAJO POTTERY

 

Navajo pottery takes many forms and utilizes many designs. Some of the designs are representations of nature, either animals, geologic formations or weather phenomena. Many more are geometric designs that are both intricate and pleasing.

When Sam first began creating pottery, he kept strictly to the traditional shapes and designs such as these.

Left: Two small pots in the author's collection.

   
This vase incorporates many designs, creating a striking whole. It's not unusual to see repetitions of triad features, like the one on the front, or quadrilateral features, often representing the four directions.

Sam began to branch out and use more non-traditional colors and designs as he developed his pottery over time.

Left: Tall vase from the author's collection.

   
Common motifs are animals like large mammals, fish, insects and reptiles; representational designs like feathers; and spirals, stars and crosses.

Sam began to experiment with new colors as his muse (Theodora?) called him.

Left: Image from Pixabay.

   
Most traditional pottery is not glazed, but modern Navajos have availed themselves of some gorgeous colors and finishes. This water pitcher incorporates traditional designs with the represenation of Monument Valley, located in the heart of Navajo country in southern Utah.

Sam's fauvist experimentations led him to try new, brilliant colors and gleaming glazes such as this.

Left: Large water pitcher from the author's collection.