Susan Peterson

Susan Peterson

Susan Peterson began establishing personal friendships with American Indian potters during the 1930s. She is the author of The Living Tradition of Maria Martinez, Lucy M. Lewis: American Indian Potter, Sho-ji Hamada: A Potter's Way and Work, and The Craft of Art and Clay. She has also produced a critically acclaimed television series for CBS called Wheels, Kilns, and Clay. A practicing potter herself and an expert in the craft's history, she has developed ceramics departments and taught classes at many institutions. She frequently exhibits in group and one-woman shows, and recently retired as a professor of ceramic art from Hunter College in New York City. She now lives and works in rural Arizona.

Pottery by American Indian Women

The Legacy of Generations

By

This book provides a very personal look at three generations of American Indian women who made--and are still making--the 20th century's most beautiful and important traditional pottery.

Primarily a women's art, American Indian pottery reflects a heritage of powerful social, religious, and aesthetic values. Even now, modern American Indian women use the clay, paint, and fire of pottery making to express themselves, creating designs that range from dutifully traditional to strikingly original. This book--written in conjunction with one of the most important exhibitions of American Indian pottery ever mounted--provides an in-depth look at a unique North American art form.

The text and lavish illustrations focus on the American Indian women who have maintained and expanded the art in the twentieth century: the craft's six well-known matriarchs (including Lucy M. Lewis and Maria Martinez), family members who followed in their footsteps, and women working in the avant-garde. The author-herself a potter, with longstanding personal ties to the century's most important American Indian clay artists-personally introduces these remarkable women. In informal interviews, they explain their working methods and their aesthetic visions, allowing rare and surprisingly intimate glimpses into the fulfillment they gain from working the stuff of the earth into beautiful new forms.

Featuring specially commissioned color photographs of the exhibition works and the contemporary artists, as well as archival photo-graphs of ancient pots and potters now lost to us, this book is sheer delight. With its thorough discussion of the cultural history of Indian pottery and a detailed explanation of traditional pottery-making processes, it is an indispensable reference for anyone interested in the vibrant (and still-flourishing) tradition of American Indian pottery.

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