Native American Pottery in the Making with Chris Youngblood

Chris Youngblood is an amazing, Native American potter from Santa Clara pueblo. At 27 years of age, his talent and exquisite creations are well on the road to establishing him among the top Native potters of his generation.

Chris specializes in carved black, or red pottery with alternating surface elements that are either stone polished or matte, or finished with micaceous slip.

Please enjoy this photo essay on the production of one of Chris’ uniquely beautiful pots – a lidded, carved, black jar with koi.

Chris Youngblood Pottery Creation

Chris Youngblood Pottery Creation –

Chris is from a family of famous potters whose names are considered “royalty” in the world of pueblo pottery.  His great grandmother was Margaret Tafoya (one of the most famous 20th century potters), his grandmother was potter Mela Youngblood; and his mother is Nancy Youngblood one of the most highly regarded potters of the last 20 years.

Chris Youngblood - Fish pot begins to emerge.

Chris Youngblood – Koi Jar begins to emerge.

His works are shown at the Lyn A. Fox Fine Pueblo Pottery Gallery on Canyon Road, where his exquisite talent is coming to the attention of many of the world’s most avid collectors and enthusiasts.

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Like his ancestors, Chris uses traditional building and firing methods, plus a few twists of a wheel.

Chris Youngblood Fish pot with lid.

Chris Youngblood Koi Jar with lid.

Traditionally, lids were not made for most Native jars and pots. A flat piece of clay would be made to place over the opening if the jar was used for food storage. But Chris has enjoyed perfecting the art of the lid – accentuating his unique style.

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This appears complete to me. It look gorgeous in this matte and polished red slip. But the best is still to come.

Crate firing.

Crate firing.

When Chris’ grandmother Margaret Tafoya, was at the height of her creativity, during the 1930s, her signature “blackware” was winning top awards at Santa Fe’s Indian Markets. Back then, the average price for a pot was $3.  Margaret’s pots would bring as much as $11 at the markets. That was at a time when a can of milk cost 10 cents, coffee was 35 cents a pound, and a pair of men’s britches could be bought for $1.75.

Black on black, a style made famous by Maria Martinez and Chris' great grandmother Margaret Tafoya in the early 1900s.

The beautiful finished Jar – Black with koi design and alternating surface elements of polish and matte.

Lyn A. Fox Fine Pueblo Pottery offers custom pottery demonstrations by special request (not including the firing process, of course). It’s a wonderful activity for tours, or private parties (fees will apply). All the artists Lyn features are excellent, young stars of the Native pottery world. Meeting them and watching their works come to life is a very memorable experience. To book a demonstration call (505) 470-2991.

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