Wyandot Potter

Ancient Imagery

Spring 2010 I had the pleasure of visiting the archeological archives of the National Museum of the American Indian. They have quite an impressive collection of archeological and ethnographic objects in the archives. You might never realize this going to the actual museum though, as less than one percent is ever on display at one time. They have a huge warehouse on the outskirts of Washington DC where everything is stored in a state of the art facility. I had the opportunity to access the collection and encounter in person ancient pottery from the ancient Woodland Moundbuilder cultures.
In a place like this you need a focus or you could go insane. There are so many avenues you could take for study that it is easy to get more than a little distracted. My main interest was to experience ancient stamp impressed pottery first hand. You can learn a lot more about the maker’s process when you can pick an object up or turn it around to see the bottom.
NMAI has almost all of the artifacts unearthed by Clarence Bloomfield Moore in their archives. C. B. Moore’s original publications have been compiled into several large format books put out by the University of Alabama Press. My favorite is probably the “East Florida Expeditions.” My uncle, Richard Zane Smith introduced me to this book when I was his apprentice. Uncle Rich got me really excited about stamp impressed pottery while I was in his studio. Studying the photographs and drawings of these ancient pots inspired me to learn to create my own style of stamp impressed pottery, informed from ancient imagery sources.
I took a lot of photos with my little digital camera and also collected several from the database. The Museum is working to have the entire collection in an accessible online database. They have a lot of the collection up now and should be finished in the next couple of years.

4 Responses

  1. Nancy Verderosa

    Hello Jamie,

    My name is Nancy and I have been teaching clay workshops in a Florida studio for over a year now. The majority of my students prefer to learn hand-building techniques, and I have impressed them (pardon the pun) by using lace doilies in the final press of the slab roller when making their slabs for class projects. Needless to say, I am constantly on the look-out for new textures to try.

    I read your post on CAD regarding homemade texture tools. After looking at your site, I am inspired to not only try utilizing more texture in my work, but to revamp my lame web page as well.

    Your work is very impressive, and I would be interested in learning more about your process. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Nancy Verderosa

    September 15, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    • Hi thanks for the encouragement. I really like wordpress. I am pretty slow on learning web creation and it is pretty user friendly. All of the texture tools that I use I carve from hardwood or clay. I really like to learn from the ancient native american pottery found in archeology books. There is one in particular that I love and it is the “West Florida Expeditions of Clarence Bloomfield Moore.” the ancients employed such amazing texture to their work that even though it appears crude having been buried so long, it is really fine sophisticated stuff. check it out if you get a chance. thanks again for taking the time to write.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:31 pm

  2. J keitz

    Your work is wonderful!! If you have a blog please include me in your distribution list.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:19 pm

  3. Sally Smith

    Wow and wheweeeee!!!!!!! What fabulous work!

    Maybe coming through Oklahoma. Where are you ?

    Love, Sally

    March 26, 2012 at 11:53 pm

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