Zane Smith, Richard – Corrugated Jar (1986)
This is a classic jar by Richard Zane Smith. It is coil built with the coils exposed on the outside to create the design. The shape of the coils alternates every three rows. The concept is very reminiscent of ancient corrugated wares which were varied in coil shapes for conducting heat. Richard has created this distinctive style of pottery through a revival of the ancient concept of corrugated pottery. The earliest corrugated pieces were often baskets which had clay applied to them and then fired, creating a “corrugated” appearance. Richard has created his own style, using small coils which are left exposed. This jar is from 1986 and it is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. It is signed on the bottom.
“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