Lucas, Steve – Jar with Hopi Eagle Tail Designs

9"w x 5.5"h

$ 3,400.00

This is a striking new large jar by Steve Lucas.  He is 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 jar is painted above the shoulder with four eagle tail designs.  They extend down from the neck to the shoulder.  Separating them are the bird heads.  There are additional polished red and brown clay slips used without the jar.  It takes more time to polish the slips after they are painted, but the result is also more dynamic as they reflect the light.  Steve said of these designs:

“I think about the ancients. I used to hike out to Sikyatki a lot when I stayed out at my mom’s place and look at the pottery sherds. You could pick up a sherd, wipe it off, and the design would still be brilliant. I would be amazed at how well the painting had held up to all the weather over all those centuries. I would find some interesting designs, and I would put them on my pieces. Those ancients were good artists and are an inspiration to me.”  Steve Lucas, Spoken Through Clay

Below the shoulder, Steve has painted a series of polychrome rain and cloud patterns. Again, they are highlighted with the polished clay sections in red and brown.  Near the base, the entire piece is fully polished a deep red.  This definitely adds to the overall dynamic appearance of this piece.    The numerous colors and the precision of the painting is a bit breathtaking on this piece.  The jar was traditionally fired which created the blushes on the surface.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “S. Lucas” and a mudhead (koyemsi) and an ear of corn (corn clan).  Spectacular!