Native Pottery

October 3, 2015 by  
Filed under Treasure

Native Pottery
Native pottery is wonderful to admire and can be satisfying to collect as well.
For this article we’ll concern ourselves with the American south west. If a south western Native pottery collection is your goal then read on.

This form of pottery art has been practiced for thousands of years. There are so many different pueblos and each one has its own style of finished pottery. Yet it is constantly improving as modern artists are experimenting with combinations of new techniques and designs with traditional disciplines.

There are pros and cons to collecting both antique and the modern pottery.
While collecting the pottery you are also learning a lot about Native American art and culture.

This will help you get a feel for native pottery as well.

The older pottery is more expensive because of the added value as an antique especially if it’s in prime condition. Having said that, the newer pottery can be just as beautiful or even more so. It is important to collect what you like and can afford.

The first thing you should do is visit some websites and look at photos of Native American pottery. When you see enough quality pottery you will eventually train yourself to recognize what is desirable and collectible.

Be sure to take advantage of as many books on the subject, as you can find. It never hurts to be over-educated in what adds value to a collectible

If you can visit New Mexico or Arizona, be sure to visit some of the pueblos where the pottery is made. Often the pueblo will have a cultural center where they display works of the local artists, along with a lot of information about their history and crafts.

While you can purchase pottery at these cultural centers you would be better off buying the pottery directly from the artist if at all possible.
You can also purchase pueblo pottery online.

Good discounts can sometimes be had from sites online. Of course the drawback is that you can’t actually handle the pottery before deciding to purchase. Just be sure they have good photos of the pottery on the website.

“If possible avoid the native pottery in the expensive tourist shops of the southwest.”

Try to get the largest example of pottery you can afford.
It should not have any chips or cracks, as that will reduce the value. While pottery made from molds is just as acceptable the hand-made pottery is far more valuable. In any case even the pottery made from a mold should be hand painted beautifully by the potter.

It can be interesting to collect pottery from the different pueblos.
It is amazing how different they can be. The differences could be in the color of clay used, the shapes of the pottery, the subject matter of sculptures, the amount of carving on the piece, the style of painting, and so on.

Look for a qualified reference book detailing the various styles of Native pottery.
It will help you to distinguish individual pieces as well as levels of quality. There are many different types of pottery too. Some are ollas, bowls, seed pots, traditional wedding vases, story teller figurines, figures of animals, among many others.

Some of the Native American potters have become quite famous, so it follows their work can be very expensive. But it’s without a doubt extremely beautiful. The work of lesser known potters can also be lovely. If you are just beginning to collect pottery you’ll find these less-known artists are also more affordable.

You can always start out simply and purchase more expensive pottery as you get more familiar with it. Now go out and enjoy your new native pottery hobby.

Best of luck and collect well.


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