Komalestewa, Alton & Jeannie Shupla – Red & Tan Double Lobe Jar with Bear Paws (1980s)
Alton Komalestewa was married to Jeannie Shupla and learned to make pottery from his mother-in-law, Helen Shupla. Alton and Jeannie made very few pieces together. Jeannie would make the vessel and Alton would carve designs into the clay. This is a very distinctive piece. The shape is a double lobe jar, which almost has the appearance of two vessels sitting on top of one another. The top is polished red while the bottom half is polished tan. There are four bear paws carved into the clay alternating from top to bottom as the jar is turned. The piece was traditionally fired, so there is a smoky area near the base in the tan coloration. It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Alton K. + Jeannie Shupla”. It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair.