March 23, 2007–July 26, 2008
Native American women in the Southwest pueblos of North America have been making pottery for over two thousand years. Today the potters still dig their own clay (often from sites known only to them), process it, and form the pottery without a wheel, using hand built and coiled methods. The slips are made from ground ochre, natural plant pigments, and ground rocks. Firing is done in open fires although a few potters today may use kilns.
Pottery was essential to native life, with vessels serving as the keepers of traditional ways. Pots serve not only religious but also utilitarian purposes. For contemporary potters, claywork may also provide a living, as well as fame for those who compete outside Native communities, entering the art marketplace through festivals, Indian markets such as those in Santa Fe, and fine art galleries.