Gallery Artists > Alice Cling Biography :

Alice Cling (b. 1946)  Artworks >>

Navajo artist Alice Cling was born around 1946 in a hogan at Cow Springs, in the Tonalea section of Arizona. Cling's Navajo pots are hand coiled and covered with pine sap creating a rough surface. Cling then takes a smooth stone and burnishes the pot to smooth out the texture. The darkened areas of her pottery are made when the pottery is fired. The chemistry of the clay body and the clay slip, the atmosphere in the fire, and the ash that falls onto the pots from the juniper wood combine to produce the red-orange-purple-brown-black blushes that enhance the unusual veneer of Alice's pots. After graduating from an Indian school, Alice married Jerry Cling. They have four children who make pottery too. The family digs the brown-firing clay from a special place near Black Mesa, Apache-Navajo Counties, Arizona, screens it to eliminate impurities, and mixes it with sand for temper and with water to make it workable. Alice learned how to make pottery from her mother, Rose Williams, an innovative Navajo potter who had been trained by her aunt, Grace Barlow, who had raised Rose at Shonto. Grace, Rose, and Alice have been the inspiration for many Navajo potters. In 1978, Cling's work was selected by Joan Mondale and featured in the vice-presidential mansion in Washington, D.C. and she was honored with the Arizona Indian Living Treasures Award in 2006. Cling's work is in the collection of the Smithsonian. Source

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