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Sioux Indian Museum, Rapid City, South Dakota

Earth Forged by Fire

Megan Sweets

Exhibition February 3-April 3, 2013

Earth Forged by Fire Megan SweetsWhirling winds, black soil, rolling plains, and crystal clear water enveloped Megan throughout her life on the Yankton Sioux Reservation in southeastern South Dakota. Megan was constantly awed by the beauty and intricacy of nature surrounding her and was amazed at its ability to relieve the stress of life. Often encountering the complexity of reservation life, Megan submerged herself in the tranquil world of uncorrupted nature.

As she grew older, Megan felt an urge to become closer to the serenity provided by nature and make it a daily part of her life. Upon attempting handmade pottery, she experienced a sense of closeness to nature on a much deeper level. Molding the earth between her hands, replicating the peacefulness she felt all her life, she was compelled to perfect her abilities and continue her work. Hundreds of years ago, Megan's ancestors created pottery using a basic process to form Earth's natural resources into usable products. Performing this process in the same manner as her predecessors is a continually liberating achievement for Megan.

Megan prefers to use a fire pit to finish her pieces, letting the flame take control and adorn the work as it pleases. In pit firing there is not the control of painting and glazing but rather ingredients are added and nature takes over. This helped Megan realize that, as humans, we are not in complete control. Megan believes that using the fire pit allows nature to create effortless and intricate beauty unparalleled by any human hand.

Megan wants to make a positive difference in her community. She seeks to bring nature's peace to people's lives through her art. She will never forget her ancestors, where she comes from, nor the beauty of both that is imprinted in her mind. She relentlessly strives to recreate the magnificence that nature produces so effortlessly.

"My ancestors solved, with great achievement, the mystery of curing pottery to a permanent state countless years ago. The fire pit employed nature's gifts in a productive way. I too elect to let nature take over curing and decorating my pots with natural substances in a fire pit."

Prices of pottery for sale can be obtained by contacting The Journey Museum Store at (605) 394-2201. After the exhibit closes, please contact Megan Sweets by mail at P.O. Box 91531, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57109; by email at megan@earthforgedbyfire.com; or through her website, earthforgedbyfire.com


Earth Forged by Fire, 2012
Clay, 7"x4 1/2"
2012 Megan Sweets
From the Ashes, 2012
Clay, 7"x5 1/2"
2012 Megan Sweets
Night and Day
Night and Day, 2012
Clay, 3 1/2"x5"
2012 Megan Sweets

Prairie Wind
Prairie Wind, 2012
Clay, 6"x 8"
2012 Megan Sweets

Sky In The Water

Defiance, 2012
Clay, 6"x3 3/4"
2012 Megan Sweets

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Indian Arts and Crafts Board
U.S. Department of Interior
1849 C. Street, N.W.
MS 2528-MIB
Washington, DC 20240
Telephone: (202) 208-3773
Toll Free: (888) ART-FAKE
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Director: Meridith Z. Stanton