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Native American, (1919–2012)
Joy Navasie is an internationally recognized Hopi-Tewa potter working in the whiteware tradition which she learned from her mother, Paqua Naha. Known as the Frog Woman (a nickname passed down to her from her mother), Navasie’s Pot is an innovative take on a traditional Hopi-Tewa vessel. Like other Hopi potters, Navasie emphasized traditional pit firing methods using sheep’s dung as fuel and gathered her own clay. However, Navasie introduced a white kaolin clay slip which she painted the red and black designs she is best known for. The surface design of Pot contains motifs of birds, feathers, rain clouds, and geometric patterning. The kaolin slip is not a traditional material used by the Hopi people, its usage allowed Navasie to obtain a greater contrast in the coloration of her designs. Navasie’s adaption of a non-Native material into her process has historical roots in many Native American crafts. As Native peoples gained more contact and trade with settlers in the region, new materials found their way into textiles and jewelry. Navasie’s choice to integrate the material into traditional Hopi ceramics is radical as historically Native potters of the Southwest have strongly adhered to the use of local materials which emphasize their spiritual and physical connection to the land.
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