Stetson Setalla, Hopi Pueblo Potter

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Artist signature of Stetson Setalla, Hopi PotterStetson Setalla (1962 - ), a member of the Bear Clan from the Hopi Pueblo's Mishongnovi village, has been an active potter since 1980. He is the grandson of renowned potters Roscoe Navasie, Agnes Navasie, and Josephine Setalla, and the son of Pauline and Justin Setalla. Stetson learned pottery from his mother, Pauline Setalla, and began creating pottery at age 19. His siblings Gwen Setalla, Agnes Nahsonhoya, Dee Setalla, Justina Setalla, and Karen Namoki are also potters.

Stetson's pottery is made from native clay and signed "S. Setalla" with a raincloud. Enrolled in the First Mesa village of Sichomovi, his work reflects his deep cultural roots and artistic heritage. He describes pottery as a source of serenity, self-worth, and inner peace, and emphasizes the importance of good thoughts and a clear mind in his creative process. Alongside his pottery, Stetson works as a seasonal firefighter with the Coconino Forest Service.

"I was only 19 years old when I began the art of pottery which was right after I graduated from high school. My mother was my mentor and she did an excellent job because without her patience, guidance and love, I would not be where I am today. I have now been in the pottery business for the past 16 years and although it started out as a hobby, I find it has become my main source of income, but most important, it gives me a sense of serenity, self-worth, pride and inner peace with my soul. I also work as a seasonal fire fighter with the Coconino Forest Service which keeps me busy during the summer months, but I enjoy the hard work that goes with the job and when I return home, I am anxious to sit down with my clay to be within myself once again.

As I work on my pots, I clear my mind of all bad thoughts by concentrating and praying to my clay. Good thoughts and a good heart are essential in working with your clay because you are creating yourself in each pot as you coil and when you are ready to paint the pot, a clear mind and good heart is crucial in assisting you with your painting because the designs flow through your mind into your hand and onto your pot without difficulty."

Source: Provided by Tom Tallant and published in Hopi-Tewa Pottery 500 Artist Biographies by Gregory Schaaf.

TAGS: Hopi Pueblo, Eunice NavasiePauline Setalla, Gwen SetallaAgnes Nahsonhoya, Karen Namoki