Emma is a noted, award-winning potter, who learned from her mother, Ida, and her aunt, Alvina Yepa, an acclaimed potter, herself.
Emma’s work has been published in reference books such as “Indian Pueblo Pottery” and “Southern Pueblo Pottery”. Her sister, Marcella, is also a well-reputed potter.
Emma is most famous for her swirl pots, such as this imposing wedding vase, using local clay she digs herself.
From the earth to the finished product, this impressive wedding vase was mixed, coiled, painted with natural clay slip, smoothed, carved, and stone polished, by her hands alone.
Swirl pots are a modern interpretation of traditional gourd pots; inspired by the shape of natural gourds, squash, and melons.
Emma and her family have elevated the design with many different flourishes, including the use of varied, natural clay colors in one pot.
Coiling a pot this size is not for the faint of heart, since the large body, and slender necks, are liable to cave in on themselves, from the weight of the clay.
First, the round bottom part of the pot is formed. Then, it is coated with the natural red clay slip – powdered dry clay mixed with water to form a liquid paint.
The two spouts and arching handle are formed separately.
After the clay body has dried enough, the amazingly regular, curved swirls are carved into the piece.
After firing – usually, in the ground, outside – the matte clay is polished with a polishing stone, a flattish stone that fits the artist’s hand, comfortably.
Wedding vases are used in Pueblo ceremonies; drinking from two spouts, in one pot, symbolizes the union of two people.
NOTE: DO NOT fill this wedding vase with liquid, unless you want a bag of mud!
A written account of the role of the wedding vase, in Pueblo ceremonies, is included with the purchase of this piece.
Handsome, and with a monumental presence, this wedding vase makes a wonderful gift for anniversaries, as well as weddings.