Quotskuyva, Dextra – “Corn Fields” Jar (1980’s)
This is one of the more unusual pieces we have had by Dextra Quostkuyva Nampeyo. She is certainly one of the most influential Hopi-Tewa potters of the last 50 years. Not only has she taught numerous potters (Steve Lucas, Yvonne Lucas, Les Namingha, Loren Ami, Hisi Nampeyo, to name just a few), but her creative designs and forms changed have dramatically influenced the pottery itself. This jar is made from the red Hopi clay. It is textured around the shoulder of the piece. The idea for this jar was looking down at the cornfields from the top of First Mesa. The growing of corn is an important part of Hopi-Tewa culture and the fields can always be seen from the top of the mesa. Here the “rows” are textured into the clay and then each field is highlighted with a white clay slip. The appearance is modern and yet there is a traditional connection throughout the piece. The jar was traditionally fired and there are a few blushes on the surface. It is signed on the bottom in the white clay slip, “Dextra” along with a corn plant to represent the Corn Clan. Note how the kernels of corn are highlighted with the white clay slip to match the corn in the fields on the side! It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. Dextra was the subject of a retrospective of her pottery at the Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe, along with a companion book entitled, “Painted Perfection“.