Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center
The road, the journey, the painstaking odyssey of it all, has its rich destinies, people, places and events that all have their special little meanings. Personally, some of these itineraries has taken me to some very spiritual destinations such as Mesa Verde, Acoma Sky City, Chaco Canyon, and of course my homeland the Navajo and Pueblo of Isleta reservations all encompassing rich natural beauty and wonder, with an aura of religious and spiritual wonderment that pierces the heart, mind and soul.
One such place that has been on the schedule for the past 3 years is the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center, tucked away on the western end of the Santa Monica mountains national recreation area. This small humble yet meaningful center and area has been home to the Chumash people and the Tongva people. Its one of the more tranquil and spiritual settings that I have had the opportunity to present and share my work in. There is this wonderful quiet spiritual element that hovers over the grassy rolling hills and rises over the ancient natural stone bluffs. With its lush hill sides and natural trees and vegetation Satwiwa is ripe for outdoor enthusiasts. The tranquil landscape is emblazoned with many trails for hiking, mountain biking, jogging and soul searching afternoon walks. If you listen closely you can hear the whispers and chants of the Chumash people echoing within the rustling leaves and the gentle delicate breezes that come from the pacific ocean and through the hills and valleys of this enchanting natural environment.
For the past 3 years I have had the opportunity to be a part of their cultural program, by demonstrating, lecturing, presenting my work and talking about Native American pottery and in general my culture. The center has a yearly program of Native American cultural events, such as storytelling, dancing, flute music, basketry making and other programs that support and represent American Indian culture. They have many guests speaker and artists programs that allow visitors to learn and create a little something special. It's always a wonderful and pleasant feeling to be greeted by all the wonderful Satwiwa Rangers and their charming ranger uniforms, right out of Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom. This staff of dedicated and knowledgeable individuals are all a part of the National Park Service, which I have had the wonderful pleasure of working with for the past 3 years.
So looking for some outdoor adventure with intriguing cultural enriching programs, drive west on the 101 fwy, take the Wendy Drive exit right past Thousand Oaks, make a few lefts and rights through the quiet suburban neighborhood and within minutes you find yourself nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains with the always present Boney Mountain, inviting you with open arms to explore all that Satwiwa has to offer.
For hundreds of years indigenous people of North America have been experimenting with clay, utilizing its substance, for beauty and function. Coming from such a background I have been combing the ideals, of passion, apprenticeship and patience in creating hand built decorative pottery. The method is antiquated, laborious and rewarding, resulting in pottery that are unique in their own special way. The coiling method of pottery is what I choose, without the use of a modern day potters wheel, I am able to make pots that are light in weight yet captures the concept of symmetry and form. Each pot is hand burnished giving the surface a smooth finish allowing the paint to flow effortlessly across the surface. Patterns and designs are as limitless as the human imagination, spanning the globe each culture can be represented through their own unique patterns and designs. Inspired by these patterns from various cultures, in conjunction with my own Native American background, I hand paint each piece free hand using no stencils , orchestrating inspired patterns across the surface, hoping to capture something fresh and innovative. The isolated moments of the hand painting process are a revelation of beauty and design giving each piece its own individuality. Exposure to extreme violent forces of fire, are the final ingredient that results in pottery that will be an everlasting work of art.
- Two Tribes Pottery
- Fullerton, CA, United States
- I am a Native American from the Navajo and Pueblo of Isleta people from New Mexico. I currently reside in Fullerton CA and I am freelance artist I practice in the mediums of Ceramics, painting, drawing and music. However i am most proficient in ceramics and pottery making.