Tafoya, LuAnn – Storage Jar with Bear Paws
LuAnn Tafoya is known for her highly polished traditional Santa Clara pottery. This is a stunning large black storage jar. A storage jar is a particular shape in Santa Clara Pueblo pottery which usually has a round shape and a short neck. This piece is a classic shape with a very round form and just a slight indention before the neck. There are four bear paws on the piece. They are impressed into the clay and then the entire piece is fully 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:
“Sometimes the shape depends on how the clay is drying. Sometimes you have to bring it in right away. It is OK you can make it wider and then come in. I think for the first storage jar I used the puki given to my mom from my grandmother. It was narrow at the bottom. They made the base so the puki was just thin. We had to wire it to keep it attached. Later I made a new one with that form so I could have it for the future. It’s a nice shape going up from the bottom.” LuAnn Tafoya, Spoken Through Clay
The storage jar is highly polished and fired a striking glassy black coloration. LuAnn is one of the few potters making piece 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.