Tribal Affiliation: Hopi
Debbie Clashin, a member of the Hopi-Tewa Tobacco Clan, was born to Lorena and Morris Clashin. Among her cousins are Dianna and Mark Tahbo, Dorothy Ami, and Larson Goldtooth. Debbie was exposed to pottery making for much of her life but only began to really learn the art herself around 2010 from Dianna Tahbo as her primary teacher.
Debbie said, “At first I was afraid to make large pots but with the advice from Dianna I learned not to be afraid of how big a pot gets. Dianna always told me the clay will sometimes take its own shape and size, you have to listen and feel what direction it is going, it will grow big or stay small. I continued to work on my pots everyday striving to be better than the day before.”
“I do all of my molding and painting away from the Hopi reservation then transport my pottery back home to Hopi where I fire in the traditional way to make every piece of pottery its own unique color. I have nothing to do with the exact color, the fire determines the beautiful colors in my pottery. When I am not busy creating my next pottery, I love traveling back home to Hopi to work outdoors and visit with my immediate family. Family is the most important part of my life, without their support and inspiration I could not have achieved all I have so far.”
Debbie Clashin has shown her work in juried competitions including the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, earning a 1st place ribbon. Debbie also entered a piece in the SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market juried show in 2015 earning a 1st place ribbon for a piki utilitarian pottery bowl. In 2016 Debbie won the Helen Naha Feather Woman Award at SWAIA show in Santa Fe.
Debbie enjoys making larger jars with small openings, and flat shaped seed pots. Her favorite designs are stylized interpretations of ancient Hopi symbols, bird elements, and blessing designs.