Native American Pottery

Location:   Photo Galleries  >   Native American Pottery Gallery
Native American Pottery Subcategories:   [ Vases ] [ Pots ] [ Figurines & other Items ]
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Wolf Vase
Wolf Vase 2
Wolf Vase 3

Wolf Vase 4
Wedding Vase

Flower Vase
Bird Motif Vase
Bird Woman Vase

Created of earth, air, fire, and water, a work of art comes to life in the hands of the potter. Clay is dug from local deposits and is ground, refined, and mixed with a grit or temper. Most pottery is constructed by the coil and scrape method. The clay is rolled into a long rope which is coiled around on top of itself until the desired shape is formed. The coils are pressed together, smoothed, shaped, and the excess is scraped away. The pottery is then set aside to dry. After drying, pottery is often sanded down to reduce wall thickness and refine the surface. At this stage, a clayslip, or coat is usually applied. A mixture of water and very-fine clay, the slip is painted or wiped onto the vessel. The surface is then carefully polished with a small, smooth stone. Firing takes place in either primitive or commercial kilns.

To achieve a black finish, organic material is used to titleer the character of the flames and smoke in the kiln. Often, cow dung is mixed with bark and added to the fire, and when it reaches maximum temperature, the fire is smothered with fine horse manure. The resulting sooty black smoke penetrates the pores, producing a deep midnight black.

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