Virginia Gutierrez, Potter (1976)

Virginia Gutierrez (Nambé/Pojoaque Pueblo) demonstrates her Nambé pottery-making techniques.

Virginia Gutierrez standing in a room, microphone around her neck, at a table with finished and unfinished pots, and molding a small lump of clay in her hands into a shallow bowl shape; she punches the piece until it widens, points to a small white bucket and takes out of it a small shard of pottery which she wets and smoothes the inside of bowl then pinches and pats it, smoothing the outside with a small narrow metal knife tool; she holds up the edge of a white bowl with sand in it, and sprinkles some of the sand on the bottom of the shallow bowl; she then places the clay into a similarly shaped form and uses the gourd piece dipped in water to smooth it into shape and shows it to the camera; she then picks up another small lump of clay and begins slapping and rolling it into a long ropy coil and with the side of her hand beats ridges into it, flattening it a bit; she picks it up and places it atop the clay base and pinches it into place to attach and increase the sides of the bowl; the coil is a bit short, so she grabs more clay to coil and patch; she continues to smooth the inside with her fingers, and then uses a gourd piece to do same; she then smooths the outside with her knife tool scraping mainly upward; she then uses the gourd piece again to smooth the inside; and the knife tool again for the outside as the walls think and increase in size; she rolls and preps another coil of clay as before and sets it on top of the previous one pinching it into place as the pot rounds and narrows just a bit; she then smooths the inside again with the gourd piece and wets her hands and attempts to wipe them off; the camera focuses on the variety of decorative finished pots on her table, she re-arranges them a bit. NEW SCENE. Camera faces the inside of the giant bucket of clay from which she had been grabbing lumps; and close-ups of inside the water container with her tools in it, and the bowl of sand, then her hands picking out and working a lump from the big bowl of clay with which she repeats the process of starting the initial shape, then smoothing the inside of the bowl further along with her fingers and a wetted gourd piece, then a hand-built, but unfired piece (maybe the one she was just working on?) with a round bottom and narrower neck topped with a pointy crown-like ridge; then the camera focuses on two other finished pots with a similar shape but not the same (one has a sun design and the other decorative rings); then squatter ones without the funnel neck with other designs; then some little apple-sized ones; all of the pots on the table in a row and then the camera goes close on the unfinished one. NEW SCENE. Gutierrez outside looking at a wall of exposed clay from which she digs out and grabs suitable lumps and throws in a nearby bucket;  Gutierrez seating in some long grass next to her bucket and picks out pieces of clay, squeezing some; camera rests on her and then she repeats her instruction while picking up and showing various pieces of clay; close-up of inside the bucket with chunks of clay in various sizes.

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