Earth Forged by Fire Vessel

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Megan Sweets, a Yankton Sioux, calls her works Earth Forged by Fire.  The following are her words:  "Many years ago, my ancestors developed a process for making beautiful handcrafted pottery without the modern aids and equipment that we use today. They dug their own clay out of the ground, sculpted it with their hands, fired their pieces once to strengthen them and then fired them again in a process we have come to know as "pit firing," where fire and elements are allowed to decorate and adorn the pottery as they see fit. Hundreds of years before our time, my ancestors perfected their craft in a way that is still very relevant today.

"Following in the footsteps of those that have gone before me, I use the same natural handcrafted approach. I take my own clay, sculpt it carefully on a wheel and set it to dry until it is ready for firing. My pots are then set into my self made pit along with various natural elements, like salt, wood shavings, and metal oxides, that are used to capture the vibrant colors of nature. At around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit I sit back and tend the fire allowing nature to transform my pieces into wonderful creations that perfectly emphasize both the natural process and my own ancestral history.

"Where many modern potters have gone the way of forms, casts and mass production, each of my pieces is unique. Nature's fire, wind, clay, and elements have just as much influence on my pieces as my own hands, truly making it-
Earth Forged By Fire."