Thomas Polacca - Desert Museum Store

Thomas Polacca (1935-2003), son of famed Hopi potter Fannie Nampeyo, revolutionized the technique of deep carved Hopi pottery. He began making pottery in the early 1970's by firing his early pieces in the traditional Hopi way using native coal, but evolved using electric and gas kilns that allowed him the opportunity to enhance color on his pieces. Like his grandmother, Nampeo of Hano, Thomas broke with tradition on modern Hopi pottery by being not only the first male Hopi potter, but by rendering his designs in both carved and painted images.  Again like his grandmother, other Hopi are now following in Thomas' groundbreaking footsteps.

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