Pottery Jar : Native American Acoma Pottery Jar, by Melissa Antonio #64
Acoma Pottery Jar
64. Description: Native American Acoma Pottery Jar, thin walled, hand coiled pottery jar with heart line bears around the rim and fine line body. Very good condition, has a few scuffs. 11-1/2" x 10-1/2".
Melissa Antonio, member of the Red Corn Clan and the Sun Clan, was born into the Acoma Pueblo in 1965. She was raised in the traditional way and was taught to respect the Mother Earth, all its creatures, and the clay that it provides. She sparked an interest in becoming an artisan by observing her mother, Lillie Concho, at the age of 12. Lillie taught Melissa the process of gathering clay, preparing the clay, and making natural colors from other natural pigments which were gathered from within the Acoma Pueblo. By the time Melissa reached the age of 23, her skills had improved and her art reflected her experience as a fine artisan.
Melissa specializes in hand coiling the traditional black on white eye dazzler patterns. Her pottery is all constructed by methods used by her ancestors. Melissa will accent her pottery by adding a kokopelli band down the side of her pottery on occasion. She signs her pottery as: M.C. Antonio, Acoma.
-1992 New Mexico State Fair 1st & 2nd Place
-1993 New Mexico State Fair 3rd Place
-1994 New Mexico State Fair 1st place
-Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonies
-1996 Eight Northern Pueblos Art Show 1st place -1997 New Mexico State Fair 2nd Place
-Southwestern Pottery Anasazi to Zuni
-Southern Pueblo Pottery 2,000 Artist Biographies (Source: Material-insight)
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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