Clashin, Debbie – “Awatovi Birds and Rain Clouds” Wide Shoulder Jar
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 jar has a wide shoulder and a short neck. The neck of the jar is slipped with a deep red clay. The area above the shoulder is painted with bee-weed and two different colors of clay. There are two sections with large Awalovi-inspired birds or parrots.
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 Awatovi birds have orange-colored wings, and red slipped bodies, and are surrounded by dragonflies. They are separated by larger 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 mesa and mountain designs. They are highlighted with both red and orange clay slips. The jar was traditionally fired to a deep coloration. Debbie said the blushes were more orange than usual as she fired it when the ground was colder. 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”.