Published on August 20, 2014 by Carol
Alton Komalestewa is Hopi — related through his father to Nampeyo. He, however, never learned to pot while growing up at Hopi Pueblo. As an adult he married Jeannie Shupla, the daughter of esteemed Santa Clara potter, Helen Shupla and the couple moved to Santa Clara Pueblo.
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There he was taught to pot by Helen and learned to make her famous style of melon pots. Several years later, both Jeannie and Helen passed away, and Alton moved back to Hopi. There he continued to produce pottery in the Helen Shupla style, only with Hopi clay.
Recently (2001) he has returned to the Santa Clara Pueblo area and is again potting with local clays and slips. His magnificent pots are the only heirs to melon pots made famous by Helen Shupla and are among the finest pots being made today.