Namingha, Les – Jar with Checkerboard Design, Geometric Patterns and Ribbon (1998)
This jar by Les Namingha uses traditional Hopi clay, is painted with bee-weed and natural clay slips, and it was traditionally fired. The jar is from 1998. It is thin-walled and painted with a checkerboard pattern around the neck and a triangular pattern around the base. The center is very fully designed with geometric shapes using various colors of clay and his signature pointillism to add more texture and color to the piece. The jar brings together traditional and contemporary designs. The use of various clay slips for color was the springboard to using acrylic on his pottery. The jar received a “Judge’s Choice” Award at the 1998 Heard Indian Market. Believe it or not, but I was the one who gave it the award. Why? I still remember that I hadn’t seen a piece of Hopi-Tewa pottery painted in such an abstract manner yet with the strong graphics on the top and bottom. It’s nice to see a piece like this again and I think it has stood the test of time as still being a strong vessel by Les. The jar is signed on the bottom, “Les Namingha”. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.