Santa Clara Pueblo Polychrome Pottery Storage Jar by Lois Gutierrez

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Lois Gutierrez, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter

Close up view of side panel and rim designs.

This gorgeous polychrome pottery storage jar was created in 1985 by Lois Gutierrez of Santa Clara Pueblo.  It is an excellent example of contemporary Santa Clara pottery.  Remarkably, the artist used at least eight different pigment colors to decorate the surface of her massive pot.  The majority of these pigments are reds and oranges; gray and white are used sparingly in certain areas.  The tan slip is polished to perfection, creating a perfect background for the colorful designs.  The artist’s massive colorful palette is unusual but incredibly tasteful.  It is a treat to see a jar like this—an example of a pueblo artist creating a unique statement using traditional imagery.

The primary design, which repeats four times around the jar’s shoulder, features a mother bird and her baby.  Each baby follows its mother, pecking at her tail feathers.  Each mother faces a plant design.  Each of these families is framed by a colorful rainbow.  Traditional kiva step and rain cloud designs extend down from the jar’s rim, joining with the rainbows.  A group of banding lines separates these designs from the more abstract images down below.  These underbody designs, which use just four of the eight colors, incorporate plant imagery into appealing geometric patterns.  This jar is wildly creative, but will still fit comfortably within a group of more traditional pieces.

Artist Signature - Lois Gutierrez, Santa Clara Pueblo PotterThe jar’s bottom is signed Lois and dated 1985.

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: this Santa Clara Pueblo Polychrome Pottery Storage Jar by Lois Gutierrez is in excellent condition

Provenance: private Colorado collection

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

Relative Links: Southwest Indian PotterySanta Clara PuebloPetraGoldenrod (Gloria Garcia)Thelma TalachyMinnie VigilLois Gutierrez

Close up view of side panel designs.

Lois Gutierrez, Santa Clara Pueblo Potter
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