The decoration is a variation of a design developed by Nyla’s great-great grandmother in the early part of the 20th Century (see Kramer, 1996:150 and 186 and Struever, 2001:102-103) and directly used by Nyla’s sister Jean (see 1999-08). Here, Nyla has inverted and reinterpreted the design and made it both more powerful and more abstract. The unusual dark maroon color in the design and particularly inky black slip reinforce this effect and give this shallow bowl a strong, masculine look. Like a shallow bowl by Jake Koopee (see 1995-14), Nyla’s work is extraordinarily thin for a coiled Hopi pot, and it also has elements of design that flow into the framing lines, which capture and hold a viewer’s gaze. As a potter, Nyla is not as prolific as her sisters, Jean and Rachel, but it is again clear that this bowl and their pottery represent the best work of “contemporary traditionalists” made at Hopi today.
For other pots in the collection by Nyla, see the Artist List.