Begay, Daniel – Square Jar with Bears and Stars
This jar by Daniel Begay is a striking shape. He learned to make pottery from his father, Harrison Begay, Jr. Each piece is coil built, carved, stone polished and traditionally fired. Daniel has created a distinctive style of carving, similar to that of his father, yet with more angular and graphic designs. This jar has somewhat square sides with two sides being carved and two fully polished. One side has a polished bear near the base and polished stars. There are matte water and cloud designs. The opposite side has a polished bear near the neck and carved cloud and wind patterns which are matte. Of course, it is the rim of the which adds to the complexity of the piece. The rim is square and fully polished on the top and side. The flat and polished surface creates a striking contrast to the carving and complement to the polished sides. Overall, there is a strong contrast between the polished and matte surfaces, which adds to the sophistication of the imagery. Note how Daniel’s designs combine both thin and thicker lines to enhance the imagery. The style of carving has a beveled appearance to the angle of the cuts into the clay. The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay.
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