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Navajo - Carved Blackware Vase with Yei by Harrison Begay, Jr. (Navajo)

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Price: $900.00
Item Number: ATP0529

The distinctive pottery of Harrison Begay Jr. is unmistakable. His highly polished and deeply carved designs present an insight into the potter himself. This black on black pottery offers a mixed metaphor of styles with his deeply carved Santa Clara Puebloan stylized feather patterns in tandem with prominent Navajo Yei designs interlaced with strong geometric motifs. Along with the beautifully carved designs, this piece has a rounded bowl, a slight shoulder, and narrow rim opening.

Harrison Begay, Jr. was born in 1961 in the small Navajo town of Jeddito near Keams Canyon, Arizona. In college he trained as a painter but after marrying a Santa Clara woman and moving to Santa Clara Pueblo, he was taught how to make pottery by his mother-in-law.  His pottery is Santa Clara style in clay, construction and firing techniques, but he incorporates symbolism and designs from different American Indian cultures, including his own Navajo culture.   He credits his knowledge to numerous potters of Santa Clara who have shared help and advice in creating highly polished pottery.

He is recognized as an exceptional and innovative potter and has won numerous awards for his work. At first glance his pottery designs appear very modern or even deco and 
abstract; yet upon closer look, you will begin to see e.g., a yeii figure, corn stalk or medicine bear appear. His deep carved designs with contrasting high polish/matt finish have become recognizable as his signature style pottery.                            
© The Indian Craft Shop 2017

Contemporary American Indian pottery is the legacy of a tradition thousands of years old. To be considered a "traditional" piece of pottery the potter must dig the clay out of the ground and construct the pot entirely by hand without the use of a potter's wheel. Many traditional potters eschew the use of electric kilns for firing their work, instead using an outdoor pit fueled by wood and dung.  Pottery with a shiny finish has been polished by rubbing the surface of the piece with smooth stones. Often a single piece will incorporate several of these techniques.

Height: 5 1/8”, Diameter: 4”