Stevens, Jacquie – Brown Clay “Bag” Jar (1990s)
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 jar is one which she used to call her “Bag” jars. The form is reminiscent of a bag with asymmetric sides and opening. The rim has holes and it is laced with leather, beads, and a shell. The idea was as if this was leather and not clay and you could simply pull the leather and tie up the bag. It is a really creative idea which she handled perfectly. The surface is simple as the piece is made from brown clay that has been stone polished. The 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