Shapes and Forms: Folk Art

Red tree design on a brown jar with a geometrically cut rim Navajo Folk Art
by Jonathan Chee

4 3/4 in H by 5 1/2 in D by 2 3/4 in W
Lady bug and geometric design on a polychrome chipmunk Polychrome chipmunk
by Margaret and Luther Gutierrez, Santa Clara

3 1/2 in H by 2 in Dia
Geometric design carved into a black turtle with sienna spots and sgraffito floral, butterfly and geometric design, plus inlaid turquoise Black turtle
by Melony Gutierrez, Santa Clara

3 1/2 in H by 6 1/2 in Dia
Circus figure A circus figure based on tales in Cochiti folklore
by Virgil Ortiz

11 3/4 in H by 7 in Dia

Most of the folk art I have seen comes from Navajo Nation potters. Some Cochiti Pueblo potters make animal and human figures, many of the human fuigures inspired by stories of a derailmanet of a Ringling Brothers Circus train back in the 1920's. Some Cochiti potters also make masks. Some Santa Clara potters also make turtles, mudheads and various other animal figures. A few potters from Jemez have gotten famous for their animal figures. Some Acoma potters are known to have made turtle storyteller figures. Most potters from San Ildefonso recount that their earliest clay creations were "hornos" and there are still some of them floating around. Some Santa Clara and San Ildefonso potters also turned out all kinds of candlestick holders. I have also seen quite a few wall hanging pieces coming from Hopi potters, most likely made for the tourist trade. Almost all of the pueblos turned out ashtrays when those were in vogue among the tourists. There are also some potters from Mata Ortiz who make nothing but animal, human and dinosaur figures.

Representation of parts of the Statue of Liberty Statue of Liberty figure
Mary Janice Ortiz, Cochiti Pueblo

14 3/4 in H by 8 in Dia
Measurement of largest dimensions
Bird element and geometric design on a polychrome parrot effigy jar Parrot effigy
by Rachel Sahmie, Hopi-Tewa
4 1/4 in H by 7 1/4 in Dia