Ebelacker, Jason – Jar with Gourd Designs
This is an exceptional jar by Jason Ebelacker. The jar is a wide shape and there are eight gourd indentions on the jar. They are created by pushing down into the wet clay. It’s not just that they should be symmetrical around the surface, but the jar should have a bit of an angle towards the neck so that the light reflects off the rounded surface. This is a traditional form called a “Gourd Jar” and was often made by Jason’s great-grandmother Margaret Tafoya. I wrote about the “story of the Gourd pot” in “Born of Fire”:
The Story of the Gourd Pot “Remember the story about the gourd. The gourd was asking Mother Clay, why she was just used for shaping the pottery. Why was she not given her own design? So she was allowed to create her own design. That’s why we have this shape, with the flat sides.” Mary Esther Archuleta
The indentions are meant to honor the gourds using in shaping the pottery. Having eight of the indentions not only adds a level of difficulty but also a visual dynamic to the surface. This has a great angle for the shoulder and a short necking, giving it a striking proportionality. The way the light hits the surface and reflects off so many angles is perfectly achieved. It is highly polished and fired a deep black. It is exciting to see Jason reviving this historic shape and design. He is a son of noted potter Richard Ebelacker and grandson of Virginia Ebelacker. He has won numerous awards for his pottery and continues to be one of the important younger potters to watch. Pottery at this level of creativity and quality is certainly a reflection of his talent. The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay, “J. Ebelacker”.