Stevens, Jacquie – Blue and Black “Stars” Bowl (1999)
Jacquie Stevens is best known for the simple use of forms on her pottery. Over the years she brought an unexpected dimension to Native pottery with her immense, undulating vessels. Her Winnebago (Ho-Chunk) ancestry inspired her to add basket weaving and other materials as embellishments to her undecorated forms. Her aesthetic of the organic challenges the symmetry of Pueblo pottery and provides a provocative glimpse into the future of Native pottery. This piece is from 1999 and it is a period of great evolution in creativity in her pottery. The piece has an asymmetric form to the rim and body. However, it is the coloration that is part of her evolution as an artist. The body and inside of the bowl are all blue clay with black dots. It is incised with stars that are outlined with a pinkish-red clay. There is her signature use of leather along with beads and abalone. This is one of the few smaller pieces of her work I’ve seen in this coloration but she made some massive (i.e. 20″ plus) of this coloration that are in Spoken Through Clay. This piece is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair. It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Jacquie Stevens”.
“The ceramics of Jacquie Stevens are to the casual observer beautiful, lyrical ware, but on a more subtle level, they are often subliminal statements about sensuous shapes, and the texture and volume of the human body—in an age when television advertising (not figurative painting or sculpture) has capitalized most powerfully on people’s love of and need for the truly human in their lives. Stevens’s work is also intellectual, playing on the ceramic traditions of potters from all over the world. Even when she is not working metaphorically, the artist’s involvement with texture, whether it be of scored clay, embellishments of beads, or the smoothness of hides, is her hallmark.” Spoken Through Clay