Artist Media Series
This jar by Samuel Manymules is an unusual shape for his pottery. It is coil-built and slipped with red clay and then traditionally fired. The jar has a round mouth but overall square form. The swirls begin at the shoulder and extend to near the base. They are pushed out from the inside to create the sharp “edge” but the area separating them is flat. The result is the jar has four large faceted swirls that create the additional appearance of a square vessel! The jar was traditionally fired to create deep colorations from brown-black to deep red. It is how Samuel places the jar in the firing and the smoke which determine how the colors will range from black to red. Interestingly, Samuel said that the areas which are tan are the ones that were fired the hottest! The color changes as the jar is turned but in the photos, you get a good sense of the color variations. After the firing, the jar is covered with pinon-pitch in the traditional way expected of Navajo pottery. It is signed on the bottom, “SM”. It is extraordinary vessels like this that keep Samuel among the top Navajo potters working today.