Quotskuyva, Dextra – “Hopi Sunset” Jar (1990’s)
Dextra Quostkuyva Nampeyo 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 was entitled the “Hopi Sunrise”. The jar is slipped red below the neck and stone polished. This represents the earth. The neck is incised to represent the rocks around Hopi. The tan area above is the horizon and above the red of the sunset. Dextra would often talk about the sunset as important to her pottery. She would even fire pieces at sunset so that, as she said of firing one of her pieces at sunset:
“It was dusk, and it was getting dark and I wanted to put it in the fire when the sun set. I was trying to combine the natural sky and the natural ground and for the pot and sky to see each other. It was such a beautiful evening when I put it in [the fire]. That sunset was so beautiful and so red, showing the natural colors like in our pots, like the fire marks.” Dextra Quotskuyva, Spoken Through Clay
If you have been to Hopi, you can certainly see the simple beauty in this jar and the beauty of the sunsets there! The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay “Dextra” along with a corn plant to represent the Corn Clan. It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. Dextra was the subject of a retrospective of her pottery at the Wheelwright Museum along with a companion book entitled, “Painted Perfection“.