Jean Sahme

Jean Sahme is a Hopi-Tewa from the village of Hano at First Mesa on the Hopi Reservation. She was given the name, Sak' Honsee (which means Tobacco Flower Girl) when she was born. She's the eldest daughter in a family of eight brothers and sisters. Jean only had one child, her daughter Donella. Now she's grandmother to two grandkids, Kaniela & Keanu who are her pride and joy.

Jean began working seriously with clay in 1972 after she began working beside her grandmother, Rachel Namingha, who for the most part taught the basics and influenced her later pottery making techniques. Jean remembers vividly the advice her grandmother gave her, "Respect and follow the traditional method, as it will sustain your livelihood." Jean now looks back and agrees that what her ancestor, Nampeyo of Hano, handed down is truly a legacy to cherish and respect.

Jean thinks of herself as a simple person. She is happy with a simple, laid back lifestyle that allows her to stay in tune with the natural elements she works with. She has traveled to Europe and Canada to share her culture and demonstrate her pottery making techniques. She has always enjoyed teaching various age groups and diverse backgrounds. She has continued to instill the tradition handed down to her by teaching her daughter and her grandchildren, ensuring another generation of potters in the family.

Jean is no longer producing pottery but her work can be found in various galleries, private collections, museums, colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. In 2014 Jean became an "Arizona Living Treasure."

Bird, corn and geometric designs on a polychrome cylinder
Polychrome cylinder with bird, corn and geometric designs
10 3/4 in H by 6 1/4 in Dia
Bird and geometric designs on a polychrome cylinder
Large polychrome cylinder with bird and geometric designs
10 3/4 in H by 5 3/4 in Dia
Bird elements and geometric designs on a polychrome jar
Polychrome jar with bird elements and geometric designs
11 3/4 in H by 12 in Dia
Bird elements and geometric designs on a polychrome bowl
Polychrome bowl with bird elements and geometric design
8 1/4 in h by 11 in Dia
Bird element design on a tile
Tile with bird element design
6 1/2 in H by 5 1/2 in W
Bird elements design on a polychrome bird effigy jar
Polychrome bird effigy jar with bird elements design
5 3/4 in h by 7 1/4 in Dia
Migration pattern design on a polychrome wedding vase
Polychrome wedding vase with a migration pattern design
13 3/4 in H by 8 1/4 in Dia
Bird and banded shard design on a polychrome jar
Polychrome jar with bird and banded shard design
10 1/2 in H by 10 1/2 in Dia
Bird element design on a polychrome canteen
Polychrome canteen with bird element design
11 in H by 9 in Dia
Pahlik Mana design on a polychrome cylinder
Polychrome cylinder with Pahlik Mana design
11 3/4 in H by 5 1/2 in Dia
Geometric design on a polychrome bird effigy bowl
Polychrome bird effigy bowl with geometric design
3 in H by 7 in Dia
Red and black bird element, moth, kokopelli and geometric design on a yellow ware jar with white slip
Yellow ware jar with white slip and red and black bird element, moth, kokopelli and geometric design
8 3/4 in H by 7 3/4 in Dia
Black and red geometric design on a yellow ware bird effigy pot
Yellow ware bird effigy pot with black and red geometric design
6 in H by 7 in Dia
Polychrome bird element and geometric design on a yellow ware cylinder
Yellow ware cylinder with polychrome bird element and geometric design
10 3/4 in H by 5 1/2 in Dia
Black and red eagletail and migration pattern design on a yellow ware wedding vase
Yellow ware wedding vase with black and red eagletail and migration pattern design
11 in H by 6 in Dia
Red, black and orange corn maiden, bird and eagletail design on a yellow ware wedding vase
Yellow ware wedding vase with red, black and orange corn maiden, bird and eagletail design
14 1/2 in H by 7 1/2 in Dia
Bird element and geometric design on a polychrome yellow ware jar
Polychrome yellow ware jar with bird element and geometric design
7 in H by 10 1/2 in Dia
Navajo rug design on a polychrome yellow ware jar
Polychrome yellow ware jar with Navajo rug design
7 in H by 5 1/4 in Dia
Black Nampeyo design on a yellow ware wedding vase
Yellow ware wedding vase decorated with black Nampeyo designs
11 3/4 in H by 6 1/4 in Dia
Contemporary bird and geometric design on a polychrome yellow ware cylinder
Polychrome yellow ware cylinder decorated with contemporary bird and geometric designs
7 in H by 4 1/2 in Dia
Stylized eagle design on a yellow ware wedding vase
Yellow ware wedding vase decorated with a stylized eagle design
9 1/2 in H by 5 in Dia
Thunderbird design in the bottom of a shallow yellow ware bowl
Shallow yellow ware bowl decorated with a thunderbird design
3 1/4 in H by 9 1/2 in Dia
Stylized thunderbird design inside a low polychrome bowl
Yellow ware polychrome bowl decorated with a stylized thunderbird design inside
2 3/4 in H by 8 1/2 in Dia
4 panel moth and geometric design on a polychrome jar
Polychrome yellow ware jar decorated with a 4 panel moth and geometric design
7 in H by 7 3/4 in Dia
Pottery photos are courtesy of Andrea Fisher Fine Pottery