Roller, Toni – Large Jar with 48 Feathers (1988)
This is a striking large carved jar by Toni Roller. She is a daughter of Margaret Tafoya and is known for her classic shapes and exquisite stone polished pottery. This large jar is a traditional storage jar shape with a high shoulder and a slight neck. Around the shoulder are 48 carved feathers as the design. Toni has a distinctive style of carved feather she uses for her pottery, with a rounded edge at the base. The neck and base are both fully polished. It is an elegant use of form and design. It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Toni Roller” and dated 1988. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair.
It’s important to start from scratch and do it the old way. People should understand how difficult the process is and why it takes so long to make pottery. If you are going to be a potter, you are not going to mind all the hard work involved in gathering the clay and the materials. It’s time-consuming, but in the end you are so happy to have this clay that just started as chunks in rock form. Then, coming out with the beautiful final pieces of pottery. How did it come about? With your hands and patience. That is such a good feeling.
What you see is just the finished pieces. You don’t see all that has to happen before the finished pottery. It’s not anything we buy or apply after the firing to make them shiny. True potters barely have fingernails as we keep them very short so we don’t scratch our pottery when working on them. There is so much involved in our kind of traditional clay art. You have to tell it to the children, to keep it alive. If the young generation does not continue or take an interest, it could die out.” Toni Roller, Spoken Through Clay