This is a classic tall water jar by James Ebelacker. He is a son of noted potter Virginia Ebelacker. He is known for his large vessels. This jar is coil-built, carved, and stone polished red. The piece is entitled, “Water Prayer”. The jar is tall and has a slightly turned out rim. The piece is deeply carved with a stylized avanyu encircling the piece. Note how he used the negative space above the avanyu to add design. The avanyu is fluid and carved with a variety of angles and swirls. The complexity of the carving creates the idea of movement. The jar was fired red in coloration. It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “James Ebelacker”.
James said of his pottery:
When I sit down and I make a piece of pottery, I may be alone, but the room is full. My grandmother and mom are there, as are the songs they would sing. And I can hear my grandfather tapping and can feel the beat of distant drums. They are always right there with me, speaking to me and influencing my work. With pottery, you can’t get discouraged. It can’t be rushed. You really have to invest the time to learn your path, and it will be revealed to you. So you slow down and think about what you really want to create. In the end, if you are serious about wanting to learn the art of making pottery, the clay will speak to you and instill a sense of what it is destined to become.” James Ebelacker, Spoken Through Clay
James Ebelacker is a son of Virginia Ebelacker and a grandson of Margaret Tafoya. He learned to make pottery from his mother and excelled at making larger vessels than many of the potters at Santa Clara. James has won numerous awards for his pottery at Santa Fe Indian Market and his work can be found in museums and books on Santa Clara pottery. His daughters Sarena and Jamelyn continue the family tradition of innovative artists!