Begay, Jerome & Melissa Johnson – 9″ Tall Raised Mesa Ridge Water Jar
Melissa Johnson and Jerome Begay (b. 1972) are both traditional Navajo potters. Jerome taught himself to make pottery and they began to collaborate in the late 1990s. This jar is coil built with a high shoulder and elongated neck. There is a relief carved “mesa ridge” that swirls around the neck to the base. The depth of the ridge creates striking shadows on the surface of the jar. The jar was traditionally fired to create the blushes on the surface. After the firing, it was covered in pinon pitch in the traditional Navajo pottery style. The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay, “M. Johnson + J. Begay”. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair. Interestingly, they brought pieces to the gallery beginning in 2008 and the last piece I had was in 2012. While they no longer make pottery, their work was creative in style and technically exceptional.