Four or five years ago two lifelong friends with a considerable amount of pocket change developed a lust for pueblo pottery. Together they visited the pueblos and villages of the Southwest, bought "insignificant" pieces from potters, traders, shops, and shows, and came up with a stunning collection. The authors write about these pots in a breezy, amusing, but well-informed style. They explain their "cheapskate" buying policy"If it's over $40, think hard about it"and tell what to look for in a pot. They also explain regional differences in clay and treatment and provide great maps. After discussing the styles and traditions of the past and their influence, they revisit the pueblos in alphabetical order and discuss each pueblo's style ("Where Acoma and Laguna's bird is a parrot, Zia's is a roadrunner often startled"). The authors claim "Southwestern pottery is not only one of the world's import art forms, it's the most accessible." For those who agree, there's not another book like this slick, smart, up-to-date invitation to collect.Gay W. Neale, Southside Virginia Community Coll. Lib., Broadnax
Carol and Allan Hayes are authors, collectors, and dealers of Native American pottery, and owners of Summerhouse Antiques (www.summerhouseindianart.com), which specializes in Native American ceramics. Carol opened Summerhouse Antiques in 1980, and Allan has studied Southwestern pottery for more than thirty years. They live in Sausalito, California. John Blom is a photographer who lives in Reno, Nevada.