Artist Media Series
This is an early piece of pottery by Mark Tahbo. He learned to make pottery from his great-grandmother, Grace Chapella. His pieces reflect the wonderful symmetry and thin walls of an excellent potter. The designs are painted using native clay slips and bee-weed (a plant) for the black. This jar is from the 1970s. It is made from Hopi red clay. I remember Mark was always fascinated to use the red clay over the more classic buff-colored clay. However, the issues he had with it can be seen in this jar. Instead of fire-clouds, the red clay tends to get blacker marks from the fire. This jar has the moth pattern which was made famous by Grace Chapella. The moths are male and female (check out the painting on the heads). The triangular design to the right of each moth is meant to represent each of the three Hopi mesas. They are surrounded by stars. The jar was traditionally fired so there are both blushes and darker areas from the firing. The jar is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. However, there are areas of fugitive black. The piece is signed, “Mark Tahbo (Chapella).