Santa Clara Pueblo Carved Black Avanyu Jar by Elizabeth Naranjo

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Elizabeth Naranjo, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter

This carved black pottery jar was made by Santa Clara Pueblo artist Elizabeth Naranjo.  The pottery jar is an exceptional example of contemporary Santa Clara work. Its most immediately noticeable strength is its incredible polished surface.  The jar’s surface was smoothly and evenly polished to such a high degree that the vessel is glassy and reflective.

The jar’s carved design, which is filled in with a smooth gray matte finish, is similarly appealing.  It features a single design band containing a stylish Avanyu figure. The Avanyu circles the jar, resting its head on its own tail.  The upper edges of the design band curve into semicircles, forming rain cloud patterns over the Avanyu. The vessel’s graceful shape provides the ideal surface for Naranjo’s excellent design work. 

Artist Signature - Elizabeth Naranjo, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter

The bottom of the jar is signed Elizabeth Naranjo, Santa Clara Pueblo.

Santa Clara Pueblo potter Elizabeth Naranjo was born in 1929. She was the daughter of Pablita Chavarria and Jose Chavarria of Santa Clara Pueblo. She was an exceptional potter who won many awards for her work. Her sisters, Clara Shije, Reycita Naranjo, Florence Browning and Mary Singer are also potters of distinction.  She had a long career, producing many beautiful pottery vessels over the years. Her work was well above the average for blackware. Every pottery piece she made has been exceptional. Even small bowls, which some may consider insignificant, illustrate her attention to detail. Naranjo passed away in 2017.


Condition: Structurally sound, but there are abrasions around the jar’s widest point.   The jar’s price reflects this issue.

Provenance: this Santa Clara Pueblo Carved Black Avanyu Jar by Elizabeth Naranjo is private collection from a Santa Fe resident.

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

Relative Links: Santa Clara PuebloPablita ChavarriaSanta Clara PuebloReycita NaranjoFlorence BrowningMary SingerContemporary Southwest Indian Pottery

Elizabeth Naranjo, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter
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