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Pot with Incised and Cut-out Decoration

ca. 1992 Lorraine Williams Born: Sweetwater, Arizona 1955 fired clay with piƱon pitch and slip 13 3/8 x 14 3/4 in. (34.1 x 37.6 cm) diam. Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson 1997.124.182 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 28B

Luce Center Quote

"I decided to draw on the clay . . . By mistake I made a hole in a pot, and I went ahead and cut it out." Artist quoted in Susan Peterson, Pottery by American Indian Women, 1997

Luce Center Label

Lorraine Williams carves Navajo symbols into the surface of her clay pots. The geometric pattern on this pot may have been inspired by traditional basket designs, which often include zigzags and triangles. Williams originally applied plant dyes to the surface of her clay pieces. Her father disapproved, however, because these were the same dyes used in ceremonial face painting, so she now uses commercial pigments.


Abstract - geometric

decorative arts - ceramic

folk art


plant material

About Lorraine Williams

Born: Sweetwater, Arizona 1955

More works in the collection by
Lorraine Williams