Lucas, Steve – Jar with Three Blue Jays
This is a creative new 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 has a sharp shoulder and sloping sides. There are three Blue Jays painted on the shoulder of the jar. This is one of the first times I’ve seen this design from Steve. Each bird is tightly painted and highlighted with polished green and white clay sips. Separating them are small flowers polished red, green, and white. It is a gem in design and size! 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 and delicate 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