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Lorraine Williams Portrait

Lorraine Williams

Also Known as: Tsi Yazzie, Lorraine Yazzie

Sweetwater, Arizona 1955

Active in:

  • Cortez, Colorado

Photo Caption:
Originally photographed by Chuck Rosenak. Image is courtesy of the Chuck and Jan Rosenak research material, 1990-1999, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Luce Artist Quote

"The potteries talk to you, when I am feeling down, they say 'go rest, leave me alone.' When it's a good day they say 'start working.'" Lorraine Williams, quoted in Chuck and Jan Rosenak, The People Speak: Navajo Folk Art, 1994

Luce Artist Biography

Lorraine Williams was given the name Tsi (daughter) by her father, a Navajo medicine man, and her mother, an herbalist. She didn't begin working in clay until her marriage to George Williams, son of the famous Navajo ceramist, Rose Williams. Lorraine was inspired by her mother-in-law and would watch her make pottery, while "pretending that I wasn't," and then go home and try it herself. For good luck, Williams used to travel fifty miles to her hometown in Navajo Nation, Arizona, to fire her pots in an open pit; today, she burns cedar bark in a neighbor's fireplace to create the same effects (Chuck and Jan Rosenak, The People Speak: Navajo Folk Art, 1994).