About This Site

This website is not made for the selling of pottery and I offer nothing for sale on it. This website is about my learning journey: stories about the potters (and photos of their pottery) who have made Native American Pueblo pottery such a vibrant modern art form. I do know there is no possibility that I will ever catalog all the pottery made in the Pueblo world, I can only hope to show enough to help people get an idea as to the styles and shapes of pottery being made and the plethora of designs being added to those basic clay forms.

It's easy enough to meet the potters but it's hard to get more than a couple lines of their stories as they tend to be a pretty humble and self-effacing group of people. Every now and then, though, a story comes out and I discover that some of these potters have gone to some of the finest art and ceramic schools in the world before returning to their roots and working with clay the way their ancestors have for a thousand years and more. Others began learning their art as young children, working side-by-side with parents, cousins, aunts, grandparents and great-grandparents. Still others are completely self-taught. All have one thing in common: a direct personal experience of working with the clay and allowing that clay to express through them in the process of that creating. As Hopi potter Al Qoyawayma put it in A Measure of Harmony (1982): "During the creative process I am privileged to be present, watching as the unseen hands and the gift of the Creator's energy flows into my work. For this I am deeply thankful. Do I pray when forming pots? Certainly."

I always have more pieces to add to this digital collection, and more potters to add, too, but I'm also about to embark on a journey following the migration routes of the various tribes. I'm looking into that because I followed a trail that led to a pueblo in central New Mexico that lived and died 800 years ago. Researching that brought up so much more. I found migrations of ritual specialists with ceremonial textiles and wall murals filled with designs that were translated to the surface of pottery, transported 300 miles away, painted on kiva walls again from the perspective of a sphere, passed back onto pottery and made famous 700 years later. I found sacred sites shared by the people of Hopi, Zuni, Acoma and Laguna. I found the sources and followed the evolutions of various ancient pottery styles and designs.

I like the story already. I shared parts of it with an elder from one of the Tewa pueblos and discovered I may know more about some local ancient history than he does. But those stories were not of his people. In return, he shared 1000 year old stories with me about the Four Corners region, stories I didn't know but want to know, because they are of his people. It was great. The next time we get together, the conversation should be really interesting. Now I just have to take the time to build it all into this website.