Hopi Pottery : Isleta Polychrome Pottery Jar with Hopi Design by Stella Teller #271-Sold

$ 307.75

Hopi Pottery

271, Description: Poly chrome Isleta Pueblo Pottery Jar signed "Stella Teller Isleta N.Mex" with Hopi Design Dimensions: 2 & 7/8 in. tall x 3 & 3/4 in. diameter. Condition: Very good given the age of the piece.

Stella Teller has a long career of making storyteller figurines and has consistently won prizes for them since she made her first one in 1978, the same year Adobe Gallery opened its doors in Albuquerque. Her great-grandmother, Marcellina Jojola, her grandmother, Emeklia Lente Carpio, and her mother, Felicita Jojola, were all potters. Stella Teller began working in clay at the age of eight, helping her mother slip and polish small pots. She is now a fulltime potter creating figurines and pottery in her studio at Isleta Pueblo.

Her pottery is distinguished from traditional Isleta Polychrome wares by its distinctive colors, which she says are all natural. The light gray, which has become her trademark, is produced by mixing white clay with manganese. She was one of the first potters to insert turquoise cabs into the clay. Not to be considered parochial, Stella Teller expanded the repertoire to include storytellers representing Navajo, Isleta Pueblo, Apache and Hopi males and females. She is credited with making the first storyteller to represent a Navajo.

One of Stella's earlier pieces was part of the Smithsonian Institute's traveling exhibit in 1987. She is also represented in museums and galleries in California, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New Mexico. She is the mother of four daughters, all of whom are successful potters. (Source: Adobe gallery)

A History of Pueblo Pottery:

Pueblo pottery is made using a coiled technique that came into northern Arizona and New Mexico from the south, some 1500 years ago. In the four-corners region of the US, nineteen pueblos and villages have historically produced pottery. Although each of these pueblos use similar traditional methods of coiling, shaping, finishing and firing, the pottery from each is distinctive. Various clay's gathered from each pueblo's local sources produce pottery colors that range from buff to earthy yellows, oranges, and reds, as well as black. Fired pots are sometimes left plain and other times decorated most frequently with paint and occasionally with applique. Painted designs vary from pueblo to pueblo, yet share an ancient iconography based on abstract representations of clouds, rain, feathers, birds, plants, animals and other natural world features.

Tempering materials and paints, also from natural sources, contribute further to the distinctiveness of each pueblo's pottery. Some paints are derived from plants, others from minerals. Before firing, potters in some pueblos apply a light colored slip to their pottery, which creates a bright background for painted designs or simply a lighter color plain ware vessel. Designs are painted on before firing, traditionally with a brush fashioned from yucca fiber.

Different combinations of paint color, clay color, and slips are characteristic of different pueblos. Among them are black on cream, black on buff, black on red, dark brown and dark red on white (as found in Zuni pottery), matte red on red, and poly chrome a number of natural colors on one vessel (most typically associated with Hopi). Pueblo potters also produce un-decorated polished black ware, black on black ware, and carved red and carved black wares.

Making pueblo pottery is a time-consuming effort that includes gathering and preparing the clay, building and shaping the coiled pot, gathering plants to make the colored dyes, constructing yucca brushes, and, often, making a clay slip. While some Pueblo artists fire in kilns, most still fire in the traditional way in an outside fire pit, covering their vessels with large potsherds and dried sheep dung. Pottery is left to bake for many hours, producing a high-fired result.

Today, Pueblo potters continue to honor this centuries-old tradition of hand-coiled pottery production, yet value the need for contemporary artistic expression as well. They continue to improve their style, methods and designs, often combining traditional and contemporary techniques to create striking new works of art. (Source: Museum of Northern Arizona)

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