This is a stunning classic bowl by Steve Lucas. The piece is from 1993. It is painted with a classic Bat Wing Design. Each of the four wings is slipped in red and highly polished. The top of the bowl and the base are also polished a deep red. Steve said of using the deep red clay:
“When I first learned to make pottery, the red slip painted in the designs was difficult to work with. It wouldn’t take heat very well and would scorch and turn black. The red was also difficult to polish. My aunt Dextra had a deep red color clay slip and I decided to experiment with it. I took some of our base clay and added the red to it and it polished very well. I then decided to put some mica in there to get that sparkle. That’s where the new red came from, and Dextra liked how it turned out. I introduced them to that. It was nice that for my teacher, Dextra, I was able to share and teach her something.”
The contrast of the color of the clay and the red designs highlighted with the black bee-weed are striking. The thin lines painted by Steve are always among the most refined! The bowl is signed on the bottom in the clay, “S. Lucas” and a mudhead (Koyemsi). It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.
Steve Lucas is a great-great-grandson of Nampeyo of Hano. His grandmother was Rachel Nampeyo and his great-grandmother was Annie Healing. While Steve grew up around potter he primarily learned the art from his aunt, Dextra Quotskuyva Nampeyo. His pottery is amazingly thin-walled, and each piece has a dynamic use of form and design. The pottery is coil built, stone polished, painted and traditionally fired. Steve uses not only traditional designs but often gives his own creative "spin" to the ancient imagery. His pottery is signed with his name and the Mudhead symbol, or Koyemsi. This is reflective of his Hopi-Tewa clan. Steve has won numerous awards for his pottery, including "Best of Show" at Santa Fe Indian Market. We are pleased to carry his works at both our Scottsdale and Santa Fe locations. Steve is featured artist in the recent book by our gallery owner Charles S. King, 'Spoken Through Clay".
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