Gutierrez, Lela & Van – Polychrome Jar with Birds and Clouds (1930s)
Lela Gutierrez began making pottery in the 1930s with her husband, Van Gutierrez. After Van passed away in 1956 she continued to make pottery with her son, Luther Gutierrez. This jar is from the 1930s, which is evidenced by the signature. The white clay signature was used by numerous Santa Clara potters for a brief time in the 1930s. This jar has over seven different clay colors used for the designs. Note the “purple” color of clay slip, which again only appears around the 1930s. There is a stylized bird along with clouds and rainbows. The designs are complex and varied around the entire piece. The lower section of the jar is polished red. It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Lela + Van”. It is in good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. There are some spots on the buff area in some sections, which can be seen in the photos, which are not overly distracting.