Artist Media Series
Steve Lucas 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 has a wide shoulder and a sloping side. Above the shoulder, the jar is painted with thinly designed hummingbird wings and tails. They are painted with thin lines and create a dynamic appearance across the surface. Note the use of polished brown and deep red areas. Below the shoulder are various plant and flower designs. The bottom of the jar is slipped red, as is the rim. Steve is one of the few Hopi-Tewa potters using so many colors in his work. The piece was traditionally fired and has an elegant coloration from the firing. It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “S. Lucas” and a mudhead (koyemsi) and an ear of corn (corn clan). Creative design on a classic form.
“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 clay slip, so I experimented 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