Navajo pottery, especially those that are older, can be very delicate and fragile. This is because the materials they’re made of aren’t designed to withstand the onslaught of wear, tear, and aging, making them significantly prone to damage later on. Specific guidelines need to be observed in order to maintain Navajo pottery, and these are some of the examples of care and maintenance practices that will keep Navajo pottery in good shape.
1. When Cleaning
Over time, Navajo pottery can become very brittle a porous. Even the slightest exposure to moisture could cause significant damage and breakage. That said, it’s not ideal to use liquid cleaners no matter how mild when cleaning Navajo pottery. It’s not advisable to use water either, because this could be easily absorbed by the material. A clean, soft cotton rag or cloth can be used to gently wipe the surface of the Navajo pottery to rid it of dust and other accumulated filth. As much as possible, refrain from using a duster as spokes hidden inside the feathers or bristles could scratch the surface of the delicate pottery.
2. When Handling
Navajo pottery can easily break and crumble if handled with unnecessary pressure. Using two palms paced flat on the sides of the pottery, gently lift the item with just enough pressure to keep it in your hands without breaking it. It’s also advised that you refrain from using the handles or the rim to carry the piece, as these are more decorative than they are functional. For bigger, heavier pieces, it would be wise to get the help of another individual to help transport and carry the pottery.
3. When Using Bare Hands
The oils and other residue that are present on our hands could stick to the surface of the pottery and cause damage later on. before handling traditional Navajo pottery, it is ideal that you first wash your hands properly and thoroughly to get rid of oils. Be sure to aptly dry your hands as well to avoid the transfer of water onto the surface of the pottery.
4. When Damaged
Do not attempt to reglue broken pieces with super glue or other adhesives as this could further damage the pottery. Instead, locate a specialist who can repair the item for you and be sure you inquire about their process to ensure that they are qualified to render services for traditional, authentic Navajo pottery pieces.