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Pot with Incised Decoration

ca. 1992 Rose Williams Born: 1915 fired and incised clay with piƱon pitch 15 3/8 x 10 in. (39.1 x 25.4 cm) diam. Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson 1997.124.183 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 28B


Luce Center Label

Rose Williams makes traditional Navajo pottery, with no decoration apart from a biyo---a small circle of design just below the rim. The break in the biyo represents "the way out" for the spirit, and Navajo potters consider it bad luck to close this circle. The dark, smoky patterns on the surface of this pot are known as "fire clouds," and appear when clay is fired in an outdoor pit.

Keywords

decorative arts - ceramic

folk art

clay