Enter To Win Native-made Pottery!

Enter to win Native-made Pottery

Enter to win this Hand-painted Navajo ceramic turtle from Pottery by Yolanda. Ceramic turtle is approximately 3 in. x 4 in. and comes with Yolanda's business card with explanation of designs on the back.

Meet the Artist

My name is Yolanda J La Mone. I am of the Salt Clan and born for the Red Bottom Clan. My maternal grandfather’s clan is of the Red House Clan and paternal grandfather’s clan is of the Many Hogans clan. I am a woman of the Navajo (Diné) tribe. I reside in Kirtland, NM. I originate from Burnham, NM.

My inspiration for doing my pottery comes from my aunt, Elsie J. Joe and my mother, Phyllis B Etcitty. My aunt is of Navajo, Hopi and Zuni descent. She was the one who taught me majority of the designs on the pottery. My mother continued to nurture my talent by encouraging me, showing me how to paint and taking pride in what I do.

The designs represent different elements of nature and items that are used during blessing and healing ceremonies.

Materials I use are ceramic greenware pottery, commercial clays, natural clay that I harvest and process myself. The paint I use are commercial based pigments and I use a kiln to fire each piece.

Find more of Yolanda's pieces at Pottery by Yolanda.

Brief History of Navajo Pottery

The earliest type of Navajo pottery excavated was utilitarian-ware dating from 1500-1700. Traditional Navajo pottery usually has little or no design. Although, some Navajo artists decorate their pieces with appliques or designs etched into the pottery. Fire clouds are random gray & black markings on pottery pieces caused by direct contact with burning fuel during firing.1

The presence of pitch glaze can generally determine the authenticity of traditional Navajo pottery. The melted pinon pitch gives the pottery a glossy finish and makes it waterproof. 1

After the Long Walk in the 1860s, trading posts made manufactured-ware readily available, which caused a monumental downshift in Navajo pottery making. At this time, Navajo pottery was mainly created for ceremonial use. 1

There has been a resurgence in Navajo pottery making in recent years—specifically for commercial trade. Today, Navajo potters are not confined to traditional methods and styles. They are introducing their creative innovations and adaptations to the traditional craft. 1

Who are some famous Native American potters?

Maria Martinez
Lucy Lewis

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