Katheleen Nez on sun 23 dec 01
I am Navajo, but my designs are not. The geometric
design are primarily Anasazi (a prehistoric Puebloan
people) - their ruins are scattered all over the
Navajo rez. The "Mimbres" fish design comes from the
Mimbres River culture in SoNM (1000-1150AD)
(http://beam.to/katheleennez click on introduction
then click on mineral paint to get lowdown on this
They were using minerals local to them/depending on
where they lived - I've heard in some cases, they used
boiled down beeweed as a "paint-stick" (adhesion
facilitator). They would chew yucca fibres to make
them pliable to use as paint brushes. I use a
combination of red iron oxide, cobalt carbonate and
mangnesium dioxide mixed and watered down to a
tempera-like consistency. It is applied with a No.2
watercolor brush and covered with wax resist (it
smears Very Easily). I may layout an initial line in
pencil to start the design, but the majority of the
painting is done freehand. I then glaze the interiors
and fire to cone 10 redux.
Anasazi Sources: Field Musuem of Nat'l History,
Anthropology, Memoirs Vol. 5; Anasazi Pottery, Robt H
& Florence C Lister, UNM Press; Mug House, Arthur C.
Rohn, Nat'l Park Service
Mimbres Sources: Mimbres Pottery, J.J. Brody; To Touch
The Past, with Rina Swentzell, Hudson Hills Press
Influences on me and my work:
Certainly some of the most important influences on my
work have come from my involvement in and around the
Institute of American Indian Arts. Several instructors
at I.A.I.A. studied at prestigious art institutions
such as Cranbrook Institute and Alfred University, and
helped me realize the ever-present artistic
considerations inherent in their diverse disciplines.
I also felt fortunate indeed to have been a
participant in a work-study program in conjunction
with the Haystack Mountain School of Arts & Crafts in
Deer Isle, Maine, which afforded me the experience of
first-time travel to the East Coast, and visits to
various art museums and institutions.
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