Tafoya, LuAnn – Large Black Water Jar with Bear Paws

10.75"w x 12.75"h

$ 7,700.00

WOW!  This is an exceptional water jar by LuAnn Tafoya.  She is known for her highly polished traditional Santa Clara pottery.  This large double shoulder water jar is coil-built and stone polished.  There is a double shoulder and bear paws impressed into the clay before the piece before it is polished.  Did you know that the whole piece has to be polished at one time?  Otherwise, the clay slip will dry and it won’t be as shiny in appearance.  LuAnn said of her water jars:

“For the double-band water jar, you have to start polishing early in the morning, and it takes about five or six hours to polish
that whole piece. Then, when it’s drying, that’s when I put the bear paw on all four sides. That means the directions of the east, west, south, north. I have to slip and polish on the whole jar at one time so that I can finish it evenly. It would be impossible to do just half of it. It’s difficult, but you have to polish the whole thing.  It is more difficult when you are making the double band on the shoulder of a water jar. When it is wet, what I do, I have to put my hand inside to push the band inward.
Using one finger, I place it against the top band from the inside and push it out. Sometimes you push it out a little bit too far, and it cracks. The clay can’t be too dry, and if it’s too wet it won’t hold.”  LuAnn Tafoya, Spoken Through Clay

This jar is highly polished and fired a striking glassy black coloration.  LuAnn is one of the few potters making pieces of such quality and historic continuity.  The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay, “LuAnn Tafoya”.   It is an exceptional example of her skill, creativity, and commitment to traditional Santa Clara pottery.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair.  Definitely a piece of history in clay!