Curran, Dolores – Polychrome Jar with Avanyu, Dragonfly and Feather Lid
WOW! This is an amazing larger jar by Dolores Curran. Because of the time consuming and detail-oriented nature of her pottery, she only makes a few pieces each year this size or larger. She was inspired to create these red polychrome incised and painted by her husband, Alvin Curran. He was known for his incised San Juan style pottery in the late 1990s. The shape of his jar is a traditional style water jar with a low, round shoulder and a straight neck. The base is fully polished red and painted with red and buff clays to create stylized feather patterns and even a little dragonfly! Above the shoulder, the entire piece is incised and carved with designs. The avanyu around the neck is carved into the clay. The cloud motifs around the shoulder are also carved. The other designs are all incised (which simply means not as deeply cut into the clay). The body of the jar has sections with dragonflies and flowers. They are separated by a larger fan of feathers. There are nine feathers in each of the five fans. Did you notice that the coloration of each fan is different! It is this same nine feather pattern that is carved into the finial of the lid. The neck of the ajr has flower and cloud patterns. Note the use of various clay slips and mica to create four different matte colorations! The lid is also slipped with various clays for coloration. The flat portion of the lid is polished and painted, along with an incised area which is slipped with mica. Overall, it is a wonderfully complex design that incorporates painted, carved, and incised techniques. In addition, there are matte, polished, and micaceous textures. All the colorations are from natural clay slips. It is an extraordinary amount of time to create pieces this intricate both in design and in the various clay additions. The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Dolores Curran”. Simply dynamic!