All the pottery types from First Mesa are descended from the prehistoric Jeddito yelloware, a matte-finish yellow pottery with black decoration. The clay derives its name from the nearby Jeddito wash, where it was mined. The brown color is obtained by boiling bee weed, a desert plant that produces a black color when boiled down, but fires a dark brown.
Because the clay has a pleasing, soft luster after it is polished with a stone, the Hopis use no slip to color the surface. However, for a brief time in the late 1800’s , they experimented with a yellowish-white slip obtained from the Zunis.
Illustrated in Spirits in the Art, by James A. Hanson, p-228