Shupla, Helen – Small Wedding Vase with Painted Designs (1970s)
Helen Shupla is certainly most famous for her exceptional melon jars. However, she is also known for her creative carved vessels. This wedding vase is coil-built and fully polished. It is painted around the body of the piece with cloud, rain, and lightning designs. The creativity of her carved and painted designs primarily comes from Kenneth Shupla, Helen’s husband. He was from Hopi and he carved all of her pottery! As a result, the carved pieces by Helen often combine both Hopi and Santa Clara pueblo aesthetics and designs. The wedding is from the early 1970s and it is highly polished and fired a deep black. It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Helen Santa Clara Pueblo”. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair.