Gachupin, Helen – Four Color Storage Jar with Deer & Birds (1960s)
WOW! This is an amazing storage jar by Helen Gachupin. She was a daughter of Andrea Toribio Gachupin. She never married so she had no children to carry on her pottery-making tradition. She was known for her traditional pottery and use of traditional designs. This is one of her few storage jars and it combines both distinctive imagery with four different colors of clay. The jar has a deer on each side. They are surrounded by plants and there is a polished rainbow over the top of each deer. Separating the deer are birds, each surrounded by plants. There is a tan or buff-colored rainbow around the birds. The tan area is also stone polished. The contrasting polished and matte surfaces across the entire jar give it a very visually dynamic appearance. The base of the jar is fully polished. Amazingly, for the size of the piece, the jar is lighter than expected. Zia pottery from this time period was made from clay that used basalt for the temper, giving them great structure and endurance. The base of the jar is indented and that is where it is signed, “Helen Gachupin”. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair. This is one of the largest Zia pieces we have had in years, and certainly one of the most impressive in size and design. A classic in clay!