Shapes and Forms: Folk Art

Red tree design on a brown jar with a geometrically cut rim Navajo Folk Art, 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, 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, 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, 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 figures 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 make turtles, mudheads and various other animal figures. A few potters from Jemez have gotten famous for their animal figures. Some Acoma potters make 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, salt and pepper shakers and other items specifically for the tourist trade. I have also seen quite a few wall hanging pieces coming from Hopi potters, also 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