Dough Bowl
ca. 1950
14" x 14" x 7.5"
Ceramics, Ceramic
Region: New Mexico
Culture: Kewa Pueblo (Santo Domingo)
Pueblo dough bowls like this one were used to mix large amounts of bread dough that would then be cooked in the outdoor horno (oven). This large, beautifully burnished bowl glows a soft warm orange from the applied natural pigment. One can almost imagine the bread dough set to rise in its smooth interior. Dough bowls are made using clay coil techniques. The artist makes a "pukay" (a flat dish) to use as a mold, then each coil is painstakingly added one at a time in the mold until it is the desired height. Finally, the coils are smoothed and compressed together to create the strong walls required for mixing the dough. After the bowl is painted, it is burnished to its bright coppery shine with a cloth or rock to make it shine, and then fired in an open pit fire.