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John Whiterock specializes in these dolls which he makes in clay and bronze. He received an award of Excellence in Carving and Sculpture at the 2004 Southwest Indian Art Fair Juried Competition. He says of his work: "As a child I had an almost compulsive need to draw. I drew everywhere --on the walls of our house, in our encyclopedias, in my mother's Bible, literally anywhere with a flat surface --to the great consternation of my parents. Between me, my parents, and my four brothers, there were many mouths to feed in our family, so to supplement our income my mother made and sold traditional pottery. Some of my earliest memories are of my mother making pottery. She learned her techniques from my paternal grandmother and then taught the techniques to my brother and me. My mother, Cecelia, is still the center of our family, and it is to her remarkable strength and selfless devotion that I dedicate my work. My figurines represent her, as well as other female relatives, performing daily rituals in Navajo life, such as cooking, rug weaving, sheep herding, and pottery making. My work is contemporary in form, but the techniques used in its creation are entirely traditional. The clay that is used comes from the mesa behind our home. Smaller figurines are made from thick, hand-rolled cylinders of clay. Larger pieces are built with clay coils. I use a scalpel, various carving tools, and other homemade tools to carve the clay into a figurine. Following the carving process, the figurine is left to dry on its own for one and a half to two weeks, then kiln fired and smoked with pine pitch, a process unique to my work. The figurines are then painted after they have cooled."
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