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Choosing Indian Pottery For Beautiful Western Home Decor

Apr 19, 2008
Indian pottery, like that made by Tarahumara and Tigua Indians, is hand made using rough white, orange and brown clay found in the earth. The earthen clay is not only very durable but is also what gives the pottery that popular rustic look.

The knowledge of pottery making has been passed down throughout the generations and is still made the same way as it has been for hundreds of years. If you are like me and love Native American pottery, you will definitely like holding a piece of this unique art in your hands, imagining the work that goes into creating such unique pottery.

If you are thinking about collecting Indian pottery, you will find many types and might even discover some that you never knew about. From rustic style pieces of Tarahumara pottery with dark earth tone colors to intricately detailed art pieces, painted by the Tigua Indians, you will definitely not have trouble finding something you like.

The various types of pottery are thrilling for collectors because there is so much to choose from. The most exciting part of owning real Native Indian pottery is the fact that it has always played a part in Native American lifestyle. In recent years, collecting pottery has become fashionable again because of the popularity of traditional Mata Ortiz pottery found in the Casas Grandes region of Chihuahua, in the northern part of Mexico.

A lot of Indian pottery can be used both to cook with or to add as part of a collection. Many of the Tarahumara pots or ollas as they are called, are used to cook beans, boil corn with lime for making tortillas, roasting corn to make pinole, or for making the traditional corn beer known as tesquino.

The ollas are utilitarian in design and come in various sizes and shapes that define how that particular pot will be used. It doesn't matter which kind of pottery you buy, whether for cooking or decorative purposes, you will no doubt appreciate all the work that goes into crafting Indian pottery.

You will find the art of pottery making to be very fascinating. Hand-crafted by the potter, the traditional coil and pinch method is used instead of the pottery wheel. Finding and grinding the clay to a fine powder is the first step in pottery making. Water is then added to the clay powder and brought to the desired consistency.

A piece is cut for the base of the pot and then clay coils are used to build up the sides. The instruments the Tarahumaras use for cleaning and smoothing the pot are nothing more than pieces of gourd, stone or wood. They then heat the pot in a shallow hole after it has had time to dry in the open air. It is then painted using various items like a feather, the fingers or a cloth-wrapped stick and a variety of paints like red ochre, iron oxide or hematite.

Owning Native pottery, whether a roughly made Tarahumara olla, a beautifully painted piece by the Tigua Indian Tribe, or elegant artwork like Mata Ortiz, is definitely a great way to bring Native American authenticity to your home. You can buy southwest style Indian pottery online, and in pottery shops and many stores that sell southwestern decor and accessories.

If you want to be part of the exciting rebirth of Indian pottery collecting and bring Native American style to your home, try decorating with original pieces of handmade Indian pottery.
About the Author
Craig Chambers is the director of Mission Del Rey and offers free information online about choosing Indian pottery for southwestern decor. For more information visit http://www.missiondelrey.com
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