Wyandot Potter


New pots at Andrea Fischer Gallery in Santa Fe!

Alfred Ceramic Art Museum Acquires Trigram Vision

From the Ceramophile Magazine:IMG_3551

Lovetts – Jamie Zane Smith

Lovetts – Jamie Zane Smith.

lidded tree bark bowl



This piece represents the evolution of style and design. The bowl is stamped in the traditional swift creek style. For the base I made the bark stamp out of clay. By mirroring a section of dogwood bark with clay, the living tree helps to tell the story. The base represents the actual physical appearance of the tree while the lid represents the divine creation that is within. Perhaps the lid can be seen as an intuitive rendering of tree cells magnified 1000 times. This piece is available through Native American Collections. Click on this link and scroll down to the bottom of the page: http://nativepots.com/sanpottery.html

Bark Stamp Process

tree pot 030

Here I thought I would share some photos of my bark stamp process.

I took these photos while making my latest bark stamp vessel.

To make the stamp I simply pressed a slab of clay into the bark

of a hickory tree and fired it. Usually I carve stanps out of wood

but this is something different.

Here is the second go around with the stamp.

It is a pretty deeply textured stamp,

When stamping the form expands in a controlled manner.

The coiled form is built to anticipate the expansion.

Getting ready to round the shoulder.

Here I have my stamping kit:

Stamp, crushed flint for release and Lingam

Stone for an anvil.


Here we are half-way around.

Look at how much the form stretches as it receives texture.


After stamping, it is time to give the wheel a spin

and shape the inside with a rib tool.

Finishing out the form.

Stamping coiling, stamping coiling…

Here the rim has been cut.

Now to paint the interior with iron slip.

After this I get to rub the inside with a stone.

The burnishing process takes an entire day.

After the form is completed it is left to dry and then fired.

Then it is painted and fired again.

While it is still warm the interior is rubbed with linseed oil

to protect the piece and enhance the surface.

Natural Revelation

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Natural Revelation. by, Jamie Zane Smith My latest double-walled sculptural bowl. The detail was coiled and impressed with a hand-carved walnut stamp. After it was formed I painted it with different slips and pigments. After the form was completed I carved the base out of a chunk of Arborvitae wood found at La Vista farm.

Rebirth Spiral Kettle for Native American Collections

Some photos of a piece at King Galleries of Scottsdale

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This Piece is Shaped in the traditional Wyandot kettle style. It is decorated with an original stamp based on ancient Swift Creek pottery designs. The decorations have been enhanced by hand ground slip paint that are fired on. The stamp I carved from a chunk of walnut wood collected many years ago.

New Pots For Native American Collections in Denver

Corrugated coil pottery has become a Wyandot tradition as I am second generation working to master the technique. This particular way of decorating this bowl requires 3 arduous firings of my wood kiln! There is a lot of embodied energy in this piece. It is built with our native clay and painted with hand ground clay pigments. The handle is made from walnut wood that I sculpted to fit the lid. I really enjoy continuing on the coil pottery tradition!

This piece draws from several ancient techniques. First the vessel is built using wavy overlapping corrugated coils. Once each coil is in place it is stamped with a swift creek style concentric circle stamp. The shape that the finished pot takes on is the shape of a traditional Wyandot kettle. I have accentuated the rim with cutouts and a stone polish. All of the slip paints are created by myself. The orange comes from New Mexico near where I used to live. The clay is from our sacred source in Oklahoma collected and processed by traditional methods. Finally, the fuel for firing is all found locally and carefully combusted in my hand-built kiln built from clay on the land. My favorite part about what I do is that I almost never have to go to the store to buy materials and I can recreate this bit of my heritage culture wherever I live!


“Brothers” refers to the Wyandot creation story which was passed down orally since ancient times. Only recently has this tradition been interrupted by cultural contamination. Those who love ancestral ways are relearning the story and planting the seeds of renewal by teaching the story to the next generation. This piece illustrates the narrative of the primeval duel between the twin brothers, good creation and evil destruction.

This photo was taken in Wyandotte, OK in front of Uncle Richards kiln in which it had its final firing. The firing was part of a very productive trip. In a weekend we fired this pot, finished my hack-berry long-bow, attended the Seneca Cayuga social dance and visited with family and friends. At the end of the weekend I brought this and three other pieces to Lovett’s gallery in Tulsa who quickly found homes for them within the following week!

Tree Bark Stamp Vessels

This series represents the integration of a new element into the traditional style. The stamps for these pieces where made by pressing clay into living tree bark and then dried and fired. The vessel forms were then made in the traditional style. In ancient times pottery was stamped using this technique for decoration as well as to enhance the structural strength of the vessel. I see tradition as something that is alive in a similar way that a tree is alive and is strong and gives fruit. If we could communicate more deeply with the trees that are almost invisibly surrounding us we could see a lot more than what we always see when we look on the surface. To illustrate this I attempt to visualize a communication that happens on a more elemental, cellular level. We are related to the rest of the living world around us as our ancestors related to the ancestors of the trees in our environment. These arboreal ancestors are much older than human culture and have informed us from the beginning. I am thankful for the tree’s nature, constantly outstretched giving glory to the Creator.

Rebirth Maple Leaf Cross Design

This is a new piece that I made for Indian Market in Santa Fe 2011. This spring I stared at the new growth on the maples and found a four directional balance to the generation of new leaves. The stamp was the most intense part of making this piece. It was fitting that the chunk of wood that I found for carving was a piece of birds-eye maple. I really enjoy making stamps that have crazy edges as they always make interesting negative spaces.


This piece I made last fall after the oak trees had a “mast” year. There were huge acorns everywhere.  It was amazing to see the vast quantities of these life bringing expressions. I dedicate this piece to the white-tail deer who feeds on these and feeds us with her beauty.

Twin Castellated Kettle

Twin Castellated Kettle

This Native Clay vessel refers to the Wyandot creation story.


Firing with my little buddy

Here is the kiln project that I started this spring. I fired a couple of pots in there and they turned out great. It always goes better when my little buddy helps me fire.

Now the pots are arranged and ready to brick up the door and start the fire!

Here are the finished results.