K. Williams – Navajo Vase


Navajo Wedding Vase by Kevin Williams (NAVAJO) Dimensions: 5 1/2″ (diameter) x 8 1/4″ (height)

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Product Description

Navajo Wedding Vase by Kevin Williams (NAVAJO) Dimensions: 5 1/2″ (diameter) x 8 1/4″ (height)

Although Navajo pottery is not as popular an art form as Pueblo pottery, it has a uniqueness of its own. This is possibly due to its decline in production leading almost to its extinction. Early Navajo pottery was made specifically for domestic use and was abundant. However, with the coming of trading posts, many Navajos turned to manufactured goods, which replaced the need for handmade pottery. Subsequently, Navajo pottery was produced strictly for ceremonial use, but remained rare because of the many taboos and restrictions from traditionalists and Medicine Men. The demand for pottery came in the 1950s with the increase of ceremonies which kept Navajo pottery alive. The revival of Navajo pottery generated from the Shonto and Cow Springs reservations in Arizona, which is said to be the home of the best clay, judged by its texture and color. Navajo potters then began to produce brown ware pottery which was rough and shiny. Potters added pot sherds, volcanic cinder, or sand to temper their clay and created bowls, cooking jars, wedding vases and various other pot styles using the coil and scrape method. Navajo pottery is rarely painted but is decorated using four different styles: by adding clay appliqués, incising, stamping, or carving designs and life forms on the shaped pots. The pots are then fired directly on coals to create a dark, discolored surface on them, also known as “fire clouds.” The pottery is then covered with one or more coats of melted pinon pitch to give it a shiny dark brown color, which continues to be a trademark of modern Navajo pottery.


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