Tafoya, LuAnn – Red Jar with Avanyu
LuAnn Tafoya is a daughter of Margaret Tafoya and known for her large, highly polished pottery. This jar is a classic shape for LuAnn’s pottery with the low shoulder and the elongated neck. For LuAnn, it is the perfect surface to show off her expertise in polishing! The jar is deeply carved with a water serpent encircling the piece. The water serpent (avanyu) is part of a story where it saves the village from a flood. That is why as the jar is turned the body of the avanyu consists of cloud and rain patterns. However, that also gives the jar a distinctive appearance as it is turned beyond just the one design. The jar is very highly polished and traditionally fired. The color is a striking deep red. The recessed area surrounding the carving is filled in using white or cream-colored clay. This creates a striking visual contrast between the tan and red areas. The coloration is beautiful and the shape of his piece is a great example of her skill, creativity, and commitment to traditional Santa Clara pottery. The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay.