de la Cruz, Juan and Lois Gutierrez – “Grandmother Spider and Blue Corn Sisters”
This is a complex jar by Juan de la Cruz. He is known for his painted polychrome pottery. Juan 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 jar is a classic round shape with a short neck. It depicts Grandmother Spider and the Blue Corn Sisters. The story is told through them and there is a section with the two sisters in a more traditional style. He wrote of the piece:
“After their arduous journey, the Blue Corn Sisters spoke with Grandmother SPider and entreated her for help. She provided weapons to the sisters and taught them this song: Formerly we were Blue Corn Women, now we are MOrning Star. With this song and other aid proided by Grandmother Spider, they were prepared for the forthecoming battle”.
The jar was traditionally fired and it is a true polychrome (more than three colors of clay). It is signed on the bottom. It is accompanied by a watercolor painting with the description on the back. 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 and most recently was the subject of an article in Native Art Magazine (Fall/Winter 2019).