Shupla, Helen – Red Melon Jar with 18 Ribs (1980s)
Helen Shupla is certainly most famous for her exceptional melon jars. Her melon jars are the very traditional form with the ribs pushed out in the clay. This melon jar is one of her classic shapes with a round body and ribs that extend into a polished neck. There is a very organic appearance to this form. The jar is from the 1980s. It has 18 very deeply accentuated ribs. Each of the 18 ribs is pushed out into the clay. She would do this by placing her fingers inside the bowl and pushing against the clay from both the inside and outside! Can you see the slight angle for each section? This is how she would turn her hand as she was pushing against the clay to create the separate ribs! The entire piece is fully polished and fired a slivery black. It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Helen Shupla”. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair.