Gutierrez, Lois – Polychrome Water Jar with Turtles
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 a classic water jar shape with a low shoulder and a slightly turned out neck. The neck of the jar is fully painted and there are two sections, each with two turtles and cloud designs. Above the turtles is a water serpent. It is a complex design and intricately painted. Check out the detail in the painted designs and I think I can count over five colors! Below the shoulder is a very traditional style representation of rain and lightning in the shape of a prayer feather. The jar is traditionally fired, which adds to the complexity of the overall process! The jar is signed on the bottom “Lois”.