Santa Clara Pueblo Black Swirl Pottery Melon Jar by Helen Shupla

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Helen Shupla, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Origin: Santa Clara Pueblo
  • Medium: clay
  • Size: 7-⅛” height x 6-⅝” diameter
  • Item # C4204.11
  • Price: $2,500.00

If Helen Shupla of Santa Clara Pueblo left her mark, it was due to her masterful creation of pottery jars with melon ribs. She developed a technique of pushing the melon ribs outward from the inside while she was building the jar with coils of clay. She produced jars in all black, all red, and all tan. The entire surface of the vessel was then stone polished.

This polished black melon jar by Helen Shupla displays the melon ribs in a swirling pattern from base to rim.  It is signed Helen Shupa and dated 11-26-84. For those who like to know the number of ribs on a melon jar, this one has 18.  The jar was stone polished from top to bottom, including the depressions between the ribs. It has a somewhat gunmetal finish.

Artist Signature - Helen Shupla, Santa Clara PuebloHelen Shupla was of Santa Clara Pueblo and Tohono O'odham tribal heritage.  She was active as a potter from around the mid-1940s until her death in 1985.  Her husband, Kenneth Shupla, was a Hopi katsina doll carver who moved to Santa Clara when he married. In pueblo culture, it is traditional for the husband to move to the wife's village. Their daughter married Alton Komalestewa, also a Hopi. He was mentored as a potter by Helen Shupla and began making melon jars of her pottery style. Helen was born in1928 and passed away in 1985.


Condition: this Santa Clara Pueblo Black Swirl Pottery Melon Jar by Helen Shupla is in very good condition

Provenance: from a client in New Jersey who is downsizing and found it necessary to release some of her collection of pueblo pottery.

Recommended Reading: Talking With the Clay: The Art of Pueblo Pottery by Stephen Trimble

Relative Links: Southwest Indian PotteryHelen ShuplaSanta Clara PuebloTohono O'odham (Papago)Alton KomalestewaHopi Pueblo

Helen Shupla, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Origin: Santa Clara Pueblo
  • Medium: clay
  • Size: 7-⅛” height x 6-⅝” diameter
  • Item # C4204.11
  • Price: $2,500.00

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