Gutierrez, Lois – Polychrome Jar with Koshari Clowns (1985)
Lois Gutierrez is one of the few Santa Clara potters who continue to create traditional polychrome pottery. Each of the various colors is derived from natural clay slips. They are then painted onto the vessel and note that there are more than 3 different clay colors, which makes it “polychrome”. This jar is from 1985. It has a kiva step rim on one side and a “koshari” rim (painted with the stripes) on the other side. The designs around the center are a series of Koshari clowns. In the fields, one is eating watermelon, the next has a bow and arrow. They are surrounded by corn, squash, and watermelon. The opposite side has a rainbow design and underneath are three clowns pulling the one eating the watermelon! Note the melon rind near the feet of the kosahri. From the look on their faces, the ones pulling the watermelon don’t know another clown is sitting on them adding weight and also eating their harvest! Below the shoulder are cloud and squash blossom designs. The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Lois”. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair.