Garcia, Tammy – Black Jar with Heartline Deer and Pottery

4.25"w x 4.25"h

$ 5,400.00

This is a striking jar by Tammy Garcia.  The jar is carved on numerous levels with contrasting polished and matte surfaces.  One side has a polished heartline deer with flowers and the other side has a reclining woman and large pieces of pottery.  The deer is carved into the clay and surrounded by stippled designs. Check out the antlers of the deer, which are carved into the recess of the clay!  The deer is surrounded by carved flowers. As the jar is turned there are various layers of carving.  The opposite side of the deer has a woman reclining surrounded by pottery.  Take a closer look, as the pottery is carved at different levels! There is a large jar with a heartline deer, another with carved designs, and one that has a flower motif.  The woman and jars are both polished and matte.  Tammy says of the figure and the pottery designs:

“What has intrigued me about pottery is the stories present in the designs.  You will often see animals or plants depcited. These were important to the akers.  When it comes time for me design a piece, I reflect on what is important to me.  I found that pottery in any style is a source for inspiration.  This piece reflects a woman admiring pueblo pottery.  I take inspiration from the Pueblo potters of the past and the serenity of their art that lasts over centuries.”

Note the stippling surrounding the designs.  The stippling is a process by which the clay surface is punctured over and over to create a texture.  It is a striking contrast to the polished and matte surfaces.  The jar is a complex combination of designs, textures, and imagery.  Tammy has won numerous awards for her pottery and been the recipient of the New Mexico Governor’s award.  It’s not surprising that with the intricate nature of her pottery she makes only about ten pieces of pottery a year.  Yet each piece is unique and expands on her distinctive style and voice in the clay.  Tammy says of her new evolving art in clay:

Do you think the idea of “Layers” applies to both your life and art? “We hear the terms “layers” and think about levels and a progression of one idea on top of another.  I love to have options.  To me the “layers” are options.  It’s about quality.  Native clay takes effort to dig and refine and temper. There are layers in just making the clay pure enough to coil a vessel.  Because of that, with the little clay I have, my mindset has been quality, not quantity.  My love for jewelry also reveals itself in the clay.  I want to make each piece I make precious, jewel-like. My new “pillow effect” is really tapering.  It’s achieved in the carving process.  I do it so that the area surrounding the carved designs is higher and the edges are recessed.  It makes the carving more delicate but also less fragile.   I love the detail.  When I’m carving a piece the smaller the carved line the more fragile.  Each layer is a fragile, delicate balance of one design on top of another. I want to be able to get more detail and create the optical illusion of even more layers from a distance.  I’ve been working to create even more detail in my work than ever before. “

“The stippling (little dots) on my pottery takes patience.  It’s time-consuming and technical to make one dot at a time.  I must wrap my fingers with cloth because the pressure of the metal on my hands begins to hurt.  I can spend several days just stippling a single pot.”