Begaye, Nathan – Incised and Painted “Layered” Melon Jar (1997)

4.75"w x 6"h

$ 875.00

Nathan Begaye was a unique innovator among Pueblo and Navajo potters.  His ethnic ancestry of both Hopi and Navajo let his work flow between the two distinctive styles and yet find their own unique space.  His work used traditional designs, forms, and techniques, yet somehow appeared very modern.  For many of his pieces, he would talk about them being “layered”, much like his own cultural and personal experiences.  That is often the best way to look at these pieces and extract something from each of the varied layers. This jar has a round shape and a melon rib shoulder. The ribs were pushed out while the clay was still wet.  The vessel itself is the first layer.  The jar was then slipped white (the inside of the neck), light red (the melon section and neck), and green, which is the next layer.  The neck and body of the jar were then incised.  There are swirling waves around the neck and swirling circles and checkerboard corn designs near the base.  They are the next layer and create texture.  The jar was then painted around the neck with waves.  The green body of the jar has angular light and dark red lines that contrast with the circles of the layer below.  Looking through all the layers, the jar becomes a fascinating balance of color, form, design, and contrasting shapes. The jar is signed on the bottom, “NB Hopi Navajo ’97”.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.