Specializing in Native American Crafts Since 1916

Vail Family


Artist Profile

The Vail family is well known for their contemporary style of pottery known as “horse hair”. Tom Vail married into the Navajo Nation. Tom, along with his children William “Skeeter” Vail, Loveitha Vail-Sanchez and their spouses Geraldine Vail and Ray Sanchez, create horsehair pottery.

To make the pottery, they pour a ceramic white slip substance into a mold. Next, they pour out the excess slip and let it sit to dry. The ceramicware is then cleaned and polished. The ceramic pot is then heated in a kiln. Mane hair or tail hair is then thrown randomly on the heated pot. The resulting carbon being drawn into the surface of the pot creates the wonderful designs and patterns. Finally, they clean the finished pottery with a dry material and the finished product is a unique marblized flare styled pot. This process of art is very time consuming. “We enjoy not knowing what designs will form on the pot itself after the horse hair has burned into the pot,” the Vail family said. They sign their pottery: Skeeter & Gerie Vail, Vail and Loveitha Vail-Sanchez.

Recent Work by Vail Family

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