Patricio, Robert – Four Color Water Jar with Rain and Kiva Step Patterns
This is a fully designed water jar by Robert Patricio. He is known for his classic forms and use of both traditional and pre-historic imagery. This jar is coil built and thin-walled. It has a classic water jar shape with the high shoulder and the elongated neck. The jar is painted with bee-weed (black) and clay slips. The use of “four colors” (red, orange, black, white) was typical in Acoma pottery in the late 1800s and then died out only to be revived in the early 1970s. The jar uses repetitive linear designs or rain, kiva steps, clouds, and mountains. They are painted in three rows. The top black-and-white row is rain and clouds. The center are the mountains and rain and the bottom are the kiva steps. The red slipped base of the jar is the sunset band. Robert recently said to me of his pottery:
“The pottery inspires me to keep going. Keeping the tradition alive in making pottery, that’s how we were brought up. Our ancestors started making pottery. It’s amazing what comes of a piece of clay. When you come to Acoma it’s peacuful and quite. When you look a piece of pottery, you see the same peacefulness”. Robert Patricio, 2020
The result of strong lines and thin fine-lines on this jar is a dynamic appearance as it is turned. It has a balance of both the modern and this ancient. Robert is certainly one of the leading traditional Acoma potters working today which is evidenced by his stunning forms and complementary designs. The jar is signed on the bottom, “R. M. Patricio”. The last photo is one I took of him polishing his pottery at his family home at Acoma Pueblo. Check it out…this jar is featured in the Robert Patricio film on PBS Colores!