Nathan Youngblood, born in 1954, is the grandson of Margaret Tafoya, and the son of Mela and Walt Youngblood. Along with his sister, Nancy, he is one of the most sought after potters working today. Nathan is a traditional potter, who has won more than 44 awards from the Indian Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico including Best of Class and Best of Traditional Pottery. He lectures in pottery techniques throughout the West and has been profiled in a number of national publications.
Nathan’s pieces combine artistry in perfection and balance. His lines are smooth and clean, and his polishing is flawless. Nathan still digs his own clay, hand coils every pot and uses the traditional open fire techniques. When he started making pottery in 1972, he was the sixth generation of artists in his family to take up this honored craft.
In a published interview with Nathan, he responded to a few interesting questions:
“What is the most exciting part of creating your works?”
“It has to be the time when a pot has cooled and I get to take the first look at the piece.”
“What do you wish somebody had told you when you were just starting out that might have saved you hours of work?”
“You cannot make the clay do something it doesn’t want to do. The clay has a time table of its own.” “Be prepared to live your craft.”
“I am walking the same road as many young potters (40s and under). I want to move away from the “regional artist” concept and consider ourselves American artists, not simply Indian artists. As I said, in believing in the importance of tradition, I think every potter should stay within his or her own set of perimeters, but I will always be pushing the envelope in terms of shapes, design, and size.”