de la Cruz, Juan and Lois Gutierrez – “Badger and Hummingbird” Water Jar
Juan Cruz creates complex painted polychrome pottery. He is a son of noted potter Lois Gutierrez. Lois made the jar and Juan, who is noted for his illustrations, painted the design using natural clay slips. The water jar is a classic shape with a round shoulder and elongated neck. The jar is intricately painted with a figure holding corn along with a little hummingbird on her hand. There is a stylized badger and butterfly and another figure with cornmeal. The lines are so fine on this jar and the motion of the figures is exceptional. It is always amazing that Juan painted with clay onto the clay vessel! Juan wrote of the scene he painted as follows:
The jar is truly polychrome (more than three colors of clay). Note the intricacy and detail in the various designs. Below the shoulder flowers. While Juan is new to the pottery world, he recently won “Best of Pottery” at Gallup Ceremonials in 2017 and again in 2019. He has been featured in articles in Cowboys & Indians Magazine and Native Art Magazine in 2018.