Navajo pottery historically was made out of necessity and for the potters’ use. There aren’t many areas on the Navajo lands that have enough water for pottery-making, so a small group from the area around Cow Springs is best -known.
Alice Cling learned from her mother, Rose Williams,who taught most of the current potters, as well. Alice, however, forged a new path for Navajo pottery, bringing it from its unrefined tradition to polished (literally) excellence.
Elegantly formed, gorgeously burnished – with a hairbrush handle! – and minimally adorned, Alice Cling’s work is made in traditional Native fashion. It is as exquisite as classic Chinese porcelain. Navajo pots are the only ones where the random dark “fire clouds” are tolerated, even encouraged, as embellishment.
This stunning pot has a gorgeous shape. The asymmetrical rim echoes the stroke of green slip that swoops around the neck and shoulder, which in turn echoes the sharply tapered base of the pot. Tapered, and blended into the body of the piece, this ribbon of unexpected color dashes across the pot like the tail of a comet. The characteristic fire cloud, seen especially on one side, results from the effect of the firing on melted pinon pitch, which coats all Navajo pottery.
Not anything like your grandma’s Navajo pottery, this ravishing piece belongs firmly in the current millennium, and will grace any and every decor.