Leno, Juana – Wide Bowl with Fineline Interlocking Stars (1968)
Juana Leno is one of the four revivalist matriarchs of contemporary Acoma pottery (including Marie Z. Chino, Lucy Lewis, and Jessie Garcia). She was a daughter of Lupita and Jose Vallo and learned to make pottery from her grandmother Eulilia Vallo. This bowl is from 1968. It is thin-walled and intricately painted. The design is a series of interlocking stars. There are eight-sided stars that connect with four-sided stars. There are three rows of three interlocking stars. What always strikes me about Lena’s painting is how it varies each time to match the shape of the vessel. Here the jar has a very sharp shoulder and the central band of stars hits perfectly on the edge. The patining is so precise on this piece! The bowl was traditionally fired, which gives it the coloration on the surface. It is signed on the bottom, “Juana Leno”. It is in excellent condition and a creative piece of pottery by this important Acoma Pueblo potter!