Lucas, Steve – Blue Birds and Hummingbirds Large Jar
13"w x 8"h
This is a stunning large jar by Steve Lucas. He remains one of the leading Hopi-Tewa potters working today. Each piece is coil built, stone polished, painted with native clay slips and bee-weed (black), and traditionally fired. Steve has won “Best of Show” at Santa Fe Indian Market and his work remains some of the most refined and creative. This large jar is unusual in form and design. The jar has a wide shoulder and a flat side. The top has alternating blue-birds and hummingbirds. Along the neck of the are alternating colors of clay representing the clouds. The jar is painted with bee-weed (black) and various clay slips. All the clay slips are stone polished which adds to the shine of the piece. The jar was traditionally fired and has amazing blushes across the surface. There are small bits of mica in the brown clay areas, as well as in the red. Steve said of the deep red clay slip he uses on his pottery:
“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.” Steve Lucas, Spoken Through Clay
This amazing jar has both an ancient and modern appearance to the design. The tight precision painting gives the jar an impressive appearance. It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “S. Lucas” and a mudhead (koyemsi) and an ear of corn (corn clan). Spectacular!