Artist Media Series
Debbie Clashin has become one of the exciting leaders in Hopi-Tewa pottery over the past several years. She is known for her large-sized traditional fired vessels. This large jar has a wide round shape and a short neck. The neck of the jar is slipped with deep red colored clay. The area above the shoulder is painted with bee-weed and two different colors of clay. There are two sections with the intertwined Awatovi and Sikyatki birds.
Did you know that Hopi-Tewa pottery takes inspiration from two historic sites. Sikyatki was located at the base of First Mesa and made pottery from 1300-1600. it was from the excavation at Sikyatki around 1895 that Nampeyo took inspiration for her designs. Awatovi was south of First Mesa and pottery was made there from 1300 to 1700. Awatovi was part of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 and was abandoned after that time. However, it is the murals on the kiva walls of Awatovi that were excavated in the 1930s that are the source for much of the Navasie, Naha, and Tahbo family pottery.
On this jar, the Sikyatki bird has an orange beak and it is encircling the Awatovi bird (the horizontal one) with a red body. Below them are mountain designs. Separating these sections are large sections depicting the clouds at the top with rain lines coming down the center. There are three bands of cloud designs. Below the shoulder are “sunset mesas” with the angular mesa design and the colors of the setting sun. This area is highlighted with both red and orange clay slips. The jar was traditionally fired to create the blushes. The coloration is deep and dramatic, enhancing the painted designs. It is signed on the bottom with her name and a pipe for his “Tobacco Clan”.