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Jody Folwell

“A stone in my eye, smooth, long, round and hard. Gia (Mother) inherited a black polishing stone from Gia Khun (my mother’s grandmother — Mother Corn), which stone was given to Gia Khun by an elderly male potter from Santo Domingo. My stone has traveled through many potters’ hands and through pottery time to make history for nah(me) and my daughters (a’nyung).”
Jody Folwell, 2008

Jody Folwell, Santa Clara Pueblo, b. 1942, is known not only for the graceful shapes of the vessels she creates, but also for her groundbreaking work of incorporating social commentary through painting or carving images and messages on her clay forms. In 1984, she collaborated with sculptor Robert Haozous, who is also known for social commentary, to create a pottery vessel that received the Best of Show Award at the prestigious Santa Fe Indian Market.Throughout her work, she has covered a broad range of topics, ranging from focusing on prominent political figures such as Nikita Khrushchev and George W. Bush to social issues such as the vulnerability of women, rape and violence.

Like children in other Pueblo families, pottery for the Naranjo family was an undertaking that touched not only Folwell’s mother, Rose Naranjo, who was the family matriarch, but all 10 of the Naranjo children. Folwell has been a role model for her children through the development of shapes, designs and the inclusion of message-laden imagery that broke from traditional Pueblo ceramics. The three Folwells — mother Jody and daughters Polly Rose and Susan — often apply to a single vessel a variety of elements that might include high polish, intricate carved designs and a sloped rim or a “melted” rim that resembles utilitarian pottery worn from use.

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