Leno, Juana – Wide Bowl with Tularosa Swirl Design (1960s)
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 the 1960s. It is thin-walled and intricately painted. The design is inspired by the ancient Tularosa pottery. The swirls on the side are the “Tularosa swirls”. They are painted with bee-weed and there are thin lines. The top has a star pattern. 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 center of the swirls are 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, “J. Leno”. It is in excellent condition and a creative piece of pottery by this important Acoma Pueblo potter!