Martinez, Maria – Large Jar with Rain and Lighting Designs, “Marie” (1920s)
This is an unusual jar by Maria Martinez and her husband, Julian. Maria would make the pottery and Julian would paint the design. The earliest pieces signed by Maria were signed “Marie”, although they were still painted by Julian. These early signed pieces also often show the most creativity and freedom in their designs. This jar has a slightly sharp shoulder and sloping neck. It is on the area above the shoulder that the design is painted before it was fired. The jar has a lightning and rain design. The rain patterns are the small lines seen throughout the design. This style of imagery is a distinctive variation and part of the creativity of the “new” black-on-black style in the 1920s. Don’t forget that the first black-on-black fired piece was only exhibited in 1920 in Santa Fe, so it was new for the potters of San Ildefonso. Beyond the creativity of the design, the jar was fired to a striking gunmetal coloration. This was achieved by the heat of the firing and was not a consistent result. However, the coloration is dynamic and adds to the depth of the piece. It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Marie”. It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair. This is definitely one of those exciting pieces by Maria & Julian Martinez which rarely come around and add to our understanding of the art form!
Maria Martinez Signatures