Artist Media Series
This is a complex large water jar by Richard Zane Smith. The jar is coil-built with the coils left exposed on the exterior. The coils are then incised to create the designs and various colors of clay are added. It is a striking “op-art” design with 3-D rectangles connected by flowing ribbons. The neck of the jar is stone polished to have the appearance of leather. The remainder of the jar has two rows of interlocking cubes and two rows of interlocking arrows. There are larger interlocking upward-facing arrows on the jar. All the designs are etched into the clay and then the colors are added. Note the complexity of the colors and the subtlety of the clay colors across the piece. Richard’s ability to have such soft gradations of colors is extraordinary! All the colors were applied before the piece was fired. It is signed, “Richard Zane Smith” and dated 2007. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair.
“The 1980s was a period of encouraged experimentation where an artist could work with one foot in traditional ways and traditional roots and the other out there probing into the future. A fascinating era of arts rooted in tradition but also expanding all over. When there seemed to be some interest I thought I’d start by keeping close to the old pueblo style of corrugated pottery. I started doing some imitation work but inevitably kept adding my own thing. In the beginning, they were just the clay color and I was doing design indention with my fingernail. Then I thought I would add another clay color, so I started adding slip and painting certain areas. Then, why not two clay colors? It wasn’t long and I started seeing that I could develop 3-D patterns. I could mix my slips in graduating shades. Once that happened it opened the door, and everything was 3-D. First, they were geometric, and then it was curvy geometric shapes which became a signature for years.” Richard Zane Smith, Spoken Through Clay