Nancy Youngblood (Yellow Aspen) was born in 1955 at Fort Lewis, Washington. Her mother, Mela, who was the daughter of Margaret Tafoya, married Walton Youngblood in Colorado Springs, while he was serving in the Army. Nancy spent the early years of her life on various military bases until her father was sent to Vietnam in 1968. Her mother returned to Santa Clara Pueblo. Living with some of the best traditional potters, Nancy began learning that process. Her mother and grandmother taught her the basics but she created her very own style. In 1972 when she won her first prize in a judged competition, it was the Gallup Inter Tribal Ceremonies and she took second place. Nancy went back to Santa Clara to be a potter. She moved in with her Aunt Berta (Shirley Tafoya) and they created miniatures together. That was also the time when Nancy began to produce her signature S-swirl melon bowls with the deep carved ridges. She showed at Santa Fe Indian Market in 1974. In 1976, Nancy had a major exhibition of her works at Gallery 10 in Scottsdale, AZ. Over the next 19 years she exhibited regularly at Gallery 10 plus in galleries in Santa Fe, Beverly Hills and New York City. Since then Nancy has marketed her work herself. In the early 80’s Nancy, had been producing primarily miniatures but later in the 80’s, the scale of her pieces increased. She has become a perfectionist carver, and her polishing skills are remarkable.
Nancy feels very strongly about the importance of preserving the traditional coiling techniques and the out-door traditional firing methods. Each piece is coil built, carved, stone polished and native fired. Nancy’s pottery can be seen in museums world-wide. She won “Best of Pottery” at the 2015 Santa Fe Indian Market for a large jar with melon ribs and a horse design. She has become one of the finest Pueblo potters of our time.