Synopses & Reviews
This book provides a very personal look at three generations of
American Indian women who madeÑand are still makingÑthe 20th century's most
beautiful and important traditional pottery.
American Indian pottery is part of an age-old tradition, reflecting a heritage of powerful social, religious, and material values. Traditionally a women's art, modern American Indian women use it even now to express themselves through new and original designs. This book explores the history of American Indian pottery, the materials and methods of its construction, and the evolution of its eloquent forms and ornamentation.
The author gives in-depth personal introductions to three generations of American Indian potters: the craft's six well-known matriarchs, their biological descendants who have maintained and expanded the tradition, and their modern-day avant-garde followersÑcraftswomen who work with traditional methods but in nontraditional styles and who continue to live in accordance with their cultural heritage.
The work of 29 womenÑamong them Maria Martinez, Margaret Tafoya, Lucy M. Lewis, Dextra Nampeyo, and Dorothy TorivioÑis presented in specially commissioned photographs, with detailed explanations of their themes, techniques, and meanings. Archival photographs of the potters at work provide further insight into this important craft.
130 full-color illustrations, 20 archival photographs
"An important reference bookÉthat draws a reader back time and time again. The lavish use of exquisitely detailed photos of clay masterpieces makes it seem more like an art gallery between hardcovers than simply a book."
(Morning Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, TX)
About the Author
Susan Peterson is the author of The Living Tradition of Maria Martinez; Lucy M. Lewis: American Indian Potter; Shoji Hamada: A Potter's Way and Work, and The Craft of Art and Clay and producer of the series Wheels, Kilns, and Clay for PBS. She frequently exhibits her work and recently retired from the position of Professor of Ceramic Art at Hunter College in New York City.