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delores curran

Dolores Curran

Dolores Curran

Dolores Curran is the sister of potter Geri Naranjo and mother of Ursula Curran.  Delores began making pottery at a very early age.  Dolores is originally from Santa Clara, but when she married, she moved to San Juan Pueblo.  Dolores has long been known for her miniatures in a buff on red style of pottery. The talent in miniature works has been handed down from Ursula. She has also been creating San Juan style pieces which were inspired by the work of her husband, Alvin. Each piece is incised with designs which are then slipped with various clays or stone polished and then traditionally fired outdoors.  Dolores does not copy or record her designs as she wants to make each work more original.

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Curran, Dolores – Painted Jar with Bear Lid

This is an intricately painted lidded jar by Dolores Curran.  Before she began making her carved pieces, she was well known for her delicately painted buff-on-red pottery.  The jar is highly polished red and painted with a buff clay for the design.  Amazingly, she would paint each piece up to five times to get the color of the matte painted areas deep and consistent enough!  This jar has a feather pattern around the top of the shoulder.  There are two smaller sections with cloud patterns. Below the shoulder, the jar is fully painted with tablita, cloud and water serpent designs.  At the very base of the bowl are two prayer feathers.  The lid is a bear with a painted heartline.  Look at how perfect the lines are!  So why doesn’t Dolores make this style anymore? She ran out of the cream-colored clay slip for the painting, and so only uses it as an accent on her new work!  As well, this is a larger sized piece of her painted pottery, as she mostly made miniatures due to the time consuming nature of the painting. The jar is signed on the bottom.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 1,400.00
Curran, Dolores – Polychrome Jar with Butterflies and Carved Lid

This is a stunning and complex polychrome jar from Dolores Curran.  She continues to create intricately incised and painted pottery.  She was inspired to create these red polychrome incised and painted by her husband, Alvin Curran.  He was known for his incised San Juan style pottery in the 1990’s.  This jar has incised butterfly and flower designs around the neck.   As the design gets closer to the shoulder, there are incised clouds and rain designs.  What is incised mean? Incised is just a bit deeper carving than the sgraffito or etched designs, but not as deep as carved designs.  There is a tightness and precision required of incised designs and it a skill with which Dolores excels.  Around the shoulder is a carved avanyu and below that are stylized bowls with prayer feathers.  Near the base are cloud and rain designs painted on the polished red surface.  Note even the little red-on-red dragonflies!  The design on the lid is a plant pattern and there are painted dragonfly and cloud designs on the lid.  When the lid is turned over there is an incised turtle underneath!  The entire jar combines polished, matte and micaceous surfaces.  All the colorations are from natural clay slips.  It is an extraordinary amount of time to create pieces this intricate both in design and in the various clay additions.   The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay.  Simply perfect!

$ 3,600.00
Curran, Dolores – Incised Plate with Dragonflies and Avanyu

Dolores Curran creates intricately incised and painted pottery.  She was inspired to create these red polychrome incised and painted by her husband, Alvin Curran.  He was known for his incised San Juan style pottery in the 1990’s.  This plate is exceptionally intricate in design.  The front has a water serpent etched around the rim.  The center is a complex square pattern which has four plants on each side.  Note both the precision of the incised designs but also how she used clay slips in the incised area to help accentuate the imagery!  The rim is fully polished red and the back is equally as complex with dragonflies, stylized birds, and flowers.  Again it is deeply incised, which is surprising for all the work that is also on the front!  There are both matte and micaceous clays used throughout. The mica adds a bit of “sparkle” to the designs.  The plate may be small but it is amazingly complex in design and color for its size!

$ 950.00
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