Tahbo, Mark – Jar with Beetle & Buffalo Design (1999)
This is an unusual jar by Mark Tahbo. It is one of a series he made which were inspired by a particular jar by Nampeyo of Hano (see the last photo, from “Legacy of a Master Potter” by Mary Ellen Blair). The jar by Nampeyo has half red and half painted. If I remember correctly, this is the second one he made which was inspired by that style. It is half painted a deep red. The other half has the buffalo horn design on the top and the beetle design below the shoulder. The beetle design was Mark’s addition to the Namepyo jar. The piece was very high fired and you can see some of the blushes in the red and the black (bee-weed) is light on part of the jar as well. The result, however, is a striking and creative piece by one of the important Hopi-Tewa potters of the 1990s. Mark learned to make pottery from his great grandmother, Grace Chapella. His pieces reflect the wonderful symmetry and thin walls of an excellent potter. Mark was one of the pioneers of reviving the “blushes” on Hopi-Tewa pottery. This piece is signed on the bottom with his name a pipe representing that he is Tobacco Clan. It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.