Stetson Setalla – Hopi

Published on August 7, 2014 by Carol

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Stetson Setalla pottery

Stetson Setalla, member of the Bear Clan, was born into the Hopi-Tewa Reservation in 1962. He is the grandson of the famous “Paqua Naha” who paved the way for elegant white slip Hopi pottery. Stetson was inspired to continue the family tradition of pottery making from his Mother, Pauline Setalla. He began making pottery at the age of 19, immediately after he graduated from High School. In the beginning, it was just a hobby for him, yet it paved a path for him to become a superb artist. The lucrative aspect of the business was also his inspiration to become an artist. He also gets a sense of serenity, self-worth, pride, and inner peace within his soul while making his pottery.

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Stetson demonstrates wonderful pottery making skills with each pottery in which he coils. All of his pottery is made from Mother Earth. The clay is dug up within the grounds of the Hopi Reservation and natural vegetables and minerals are used for colors. He fires his pottery outdoors with sheep dung. When Stetson works on his pottery he clears his mind of all bad thoughts by concentrating and praying to his clay. According to him a clear mind and a good heart are among the essentials to making pottery. Stetson signs his pottery as S. Setalla, followed by a rain cloud symbol.

Stetson is related to many well known potters which include: Eunice “Fawn” Navasie (aunt), Dee Setalla (brother), Sylvia Naha (cousin), Burel Naha (uncle), Gwen Setalla (sister), and the famous Joy “Frogwoman” Navasie.


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