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Using Indian Pottery To Enhance Native American Style Decor

Aug 5, 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 rough clay is not only very durable but is also what gives the pottery that popular rustic look.

The way of making this beautiful pottery has been passed down throughout the generations and is still made today as it has been for hundreds of years. If you are like me and love Indian pottery, you will definitely like holding a piece of this exquisite art in your hands, imagining the effort involved in crafting such beautiful pottery.

If you are interested in collecting Indian pottery, you will come across many kinds and might even discover some that you never knew existed. From rough style pieces of dark earth-tone pottery to intricately detailed art pieces, painted by the Tigua Indians, you will definitely not have a problem 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 buying authentic American Indian pottery is the knowledge that it has always been part of Native American life. Recently, collecting pottery has become fashionable again due to the popularity of traditional Mata Ortiz pottery found in the northern state of Chihuahua, Mexico.

Many pieces 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 simple meals that consist mainly of beans and corn accompanied by hand-made tortillas. The pots are designed simply for use and come in different sizes and shapes that influence how the pot will be used. No matter which style of pottery you choose, whether for cooking or decorative purposes, you will certainly appreciate the hard work involved in making Indian pottery.

You will find the creation and decoration of these beautiful pots very intriguing. Made by hand, the potter uses the coil and pinch method without the use of a pottery wheel. Finding and grinding the clay to a fine powder is the first step in pottery making. Water is then stirred into the clay powder and brought to the necessary consistency. A piece is cut for the foundation of the pot and then clay coils are used to build up the sides.

The instruments the Tarahumaras use for smoothing and shaping the pot usually are just pieces of gourd, stone or wood. They then fire the pot in a shallow hole after it has dried in the sun. The fired pot is then painted with 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 American Indian pottery, whether a rustic style Tarahumara pot, a brilliantly painted piece by the Tigua Indians, or elegant artwork like Mata Ortiz, is definitely a wonderful privilege and allows you to experience American Indian culture in the most authentic way.

You can buy southwest style Indian pottery online, and in pottery shops and many stores that sell southwestern decorating accessories. If you would like to be part of the exciting rebirth of Indian pottery collecting and bring Native American style to your decor, 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 purchasing Indian pottery for Native American style decorating. For more information visit http://www.missiondelrey.com
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