Elmer Gates (1929-1990)
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Generally, Mojave men were not potters, Elmer Gates, who was born in 1929 and lived in Poston, Arizona on the Fort Mohave Reservation, was an exception. He had learned to make pottery from his aunt. He then continued studying all styles of southwestern pottery and working with various techniques. He sold his work at the Colorado River Indian Tribal Museum in the 1970s. Gates was so confident in his chosen profession that he taught a number of young artists of Mojave and Maricopa tribes, as well as non-natives, including Santa Fe ceramicist Rick Dillingham.
Elmer Gates was a true artist. He experimented with many shapes, techniques and motifs. He made human figurines, but was also well known for his owls and frogs. His shapes were free flowing and not necessarily true to muscular form.
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