This is an incredible pottery coffee cup commissioned by Starbucks for their newest location in Albuquerque across from the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Erik made this in the traditional manner – hand coiled and fired outside. He hand polished this wonderful cup with long careful strokes giving it a high gloss. Erik selected the Avanyu as the symbol for the cup; for the Avanyu, a horned or plumed water serpent, is the “guardian of water”. Its curves suggest flowing water. Here it might be interpreted as a symbol of coffee, which many people feel is vitally important and life giving.
In visiting with Erik about this piece, he said that “the first try wasn’t successful, as the pottery cracked during firing, and I had to try again. The next cup was successful, yet just a bit too large for the Starbucks plastic coffee lid.” He put that cup in the Than Povi store at the San Ildefonso Pueblo and tried yet a third time. The third time was the charm, as this effort produced just the right size cup for the Starbucks lid. This third cup is on display at the IPCC Starbucks store in Albuquerque, highlighting the elegant combination of traditional Native American pottery expertise with the Native American artwork throughout the store. There is some talk that the third cup may be the model for some replicas, and I think if Starbucks was smart they would jump all over that one (excerpted from the blog Starbucks at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center).
Condition: Excellent – original condition – new.
Provenance: Purchased from Than Povi at San Ildefonso Pueblo