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Charmae Shields Natseway

Native American, b. 1958


5.125 x 5.5 x 5.5 in.
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation

Charmae Shields Natseway’s Jar combines the traditional techniques of Acoma Pueblo pottery making with surprisingly contemporary form, line work, and surface design. For a seed jar, the vessel’s opening is surprisingly small, giving the jar a globelike form that is more experimental than traditional. Natseway’s black slip frames each side of the spherical form, creating circular panels with narrative depictions of humans and animals. Like many ceramists working in the 1980s, Natseway has pushed the conventional boundaries of the vessel tradition, bringing to a familiar object a fresh perspective.

Charmae Shields Natseway is a member of the Yellow Corn Clan of the Acoma Pueblo. She often signs her work with an ear of corn that indicates her clan affiliation. She was trained in the Acoma tradition by her mother, Ethel Shields. Natseway is known for intrepid contemporary forms, making lidded containers in pyramidal, cylindrical, and other unusual shapes.

Matthew Limb

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