Gutierrez, Lois – Water Jar with Double Avanyu
This is a very traditional water jar by Lois Gutierrez. She is one of the few potters who continues to create polychrome pottery at Santa Clara. Polychrome, or more than three different colors of clay slips, are all painted onto the surface of the vessel before it is fired. This is a water jar shape with a round shoulder and an elongated neck. The jar has an old-style water serpent (avanyu) painted around the shoulder. The oldest style of avanyu in Pueblo pottery has the style of the tongue with the three forks (see the last photo of a bowl from the 1400s, as seen in Spivey’s Maria Poveka Martinez book). The avanyu encircles the jar and below is an intricately painted checkerboard design. Below the shoulder is another classic style avanyu encircling the piece. There are four different colors of clay on this jar. Did you know that Lois collects each of the different clays from around Santa Clara Pueblo in order to create these colorations? The jar was traditionally fired. It is signed on the bottom, “Lois 2021”.