Zane Smith, Richard – “Bird Wings” Corrugated Jar (2013)

14"w x 14"h

$ 10,500.00

This is a striking 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. This piece is inspired by classic Iroquois and Wyandot forms. The top of the piece has a raised neck that is polished to look like leather.  The edge of the rim is incised with lines.  Much like the castellan shape of the Iroquois/Wyandot pottery.  The body of the jar is fully designed with leaf patterns in a vertical manner and swirling bird wings separating them.  The bird wings remind us not only of Hopi-Tewa pottery, but earlier Salado pottery designs from 1280-1450 (See last photo).  The jar is colorful and fluid in designs that swirl across the surface.  All the colors of clay are applied before it is fired.  It is signed, “Richard Zane Smith” and dated 2013.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  

“This style is a transitional piece from op art to Wyandot/Iroquois style. So many of the Wyandot necks have four points (castellation). Then there are a lot that are five or six and then nine. I don’t know if there is a significance. People wonder why. Theories? I have my own theory. People lived in longhouses and they had lots of dogs and they would run in and out of the longhouse all the time. To keep a cooking pot turned upside down, you would keep a dog from licking it. You could also get the pot to air out and dry, and you wouldn’t have to worry about mold.”  Richard Zane Smith, Spoken Through Clay