Polychrome OLLA by Lois Gutierrez [SOLD]


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Lois Gutierrez, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter

This polychrome OLLA, or water jar, was made by Lois Gutierrez of Santa Clara Pueblo. It is traditional in form and modern in design. It has a wide, gently sloped shoulder, which leads up to a curved neck and flared rim—a traditional Tewa OLLA shape. Its walls are a bit thicker than one might expect, particularly around the base, so the OLLA feels as substantial as it looks.

Gutierrez used seven pigment colors over the cream slip, forming a complex design that covers the upper two thirds of the OLLA in movement and color. That Gutierrez was able to successfully incorporate blue, purple, orange and mustard yellow tones into a pueblo pot's design speaks to her keen eye for color, as well her dedication to the work—preparing pigments in so many different colors is a time-consuming task.

A group of four black lines circles the shoulder, serving as the central stem from which many branches of design emerge. These elements—rabbits, clouds, crosses, leaves, kiva steps, and many others—curve upward or hang down from the black lines in gentle spiral arrangements. Additional elements hang down from the rim. This Santa Clara OLLA is impressive on many levels.

The bottom of the jar is signed Lois.

Lois Gutierrez (1948- ) is a potter with roots at Santa Clara and Pojoaque Pueblos. She comes from a family of talented potters—her mother, Petra, and her sisters, Goldenrod, Thelma Talachy, Lupita Gutierrez, and Minnie Vigil all are recognized artisans. The Gutierrez family was one of the 14 families who settled at Pojoaque Pueblo in 1934, two years before it became a government-recognized reservation. Lois Gutierrez is a descendant of that family, with roots at Santa Clara Pueblo. Gutierrez married fellow potter Derek de la Cruz. They work independently, producing beautiful polychrome jars decorated in a multitude of design elements. They each make their own pottery and then fire jointly. Gutierrez has received many notable awards for her work, including Best of Show at Santa Fe Indian Market during the 1980s.

Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this Polychrome OLLA by Lois Gutierrez is from a private collection

Recommended Reading: Pueblo Indian Pottery: 750 Artist Biographies by Gregory Schaaf

TAGS: Southwest Indian PotterySanta Clara PuebloPetraGoldenrod (Gloria Garcia)Thelma TalachyMinnie VigilLois GutierrezPojoaque Pueblo, PO-SUWAE-GEH

Close-up detail image of the rim design.

Close-up view of side panel designs.

Alternate view from the top of the jar.

Lois Gutierrez, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter
C4701C-olla.jpgC4701C-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.