Martinez, Maria – Gunmetal Jar with Avanyu (Maria + Santana, 1954-6)
Nearly perfection! This is a stunning gunmetal fired jar by Maria Martinez. It was made by Maria Martinez and painted by her daughter-in-law Santana Martinez (the wife of Adam Martinez, Maria’s son). It is a classic shape with a sharp shoulder that dips down before extending upward to the neck. The entire piece is fully polished and painted before it was fired. The design is a water serpent that encircles the jar. The water serpent (avanyu) is very tightly painted. What makes the jar “nearly perfect” is the combination of shape, design, and, of course, the firing. The jar has a spectacular gunmetal coloration that comes from a very high fire. The metallic appearance of the clay surface is very pronounced on this jar. It is certainly a visual identifier to Maria’s pottery. The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Maria + Santana”. It is from the 1954-6 period of her work. The jar is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair.