Red Bear Paw Pot


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A new generation of this “royal family” of potters makes a spectacular debut.

Jamelyn is the daughter of James Eberlacker, granddaughter of the late Virginia Eberlacker, and great-granddaughter of the late Margaret Tafoya, the grande dame of Santa Clara pottery.

Margaret Tafoya was an innovator on a par with Maria Martinez of San Ildefonso, and Nampeyo, of Hopi.

A senior at the Institute of American Indian Arts, in Santa Fe, Jamelyn very obviously has inherited the prodigious talents of her famous, award-winning, family.

This elegantly formed olla is totally unadorned, except for the impressed bear paw which is a family tradition shared with other Santa Clara potters, as it is part of their lore.

With its perfectly balanced and proportioned shape, the pot has a monumental and serene quality.

Totally traditional in execution, this imposing olla is made of local clay that was gathered, mixed, coiled, smoothed and stone-polished entirely by hand. It was also pit-fired, just as in centuries before.

The luster is achieved by patiently rubbing the flower-pot textured clay with a stone that fits comfortably into the artist’s palm.

Eventually, the potter achieves this beautifully gleaming surface, that begs to be caressed.

This ravishing olla seems to radiate a shapely grace and a timeless presence.

With a family history of legendary potters behind her, it is exciting to welcome a new generation artist who is continuing their high tradition of classic, exquisite, hand made pottery.

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