This is a classic water jar by Samuel Manymules who is one of the foremost Navajo potters working today. The jar is hand coil-built, slipped with red clay, and then traditionally fired. This jar has a traditional water jar shape with downward sloping shoulder. The rim is just slightly tuned out. The traditional firing has created strong colorations on the jar with areas from black to deep red. After the firing, the jar is covered with pinon pitch in the traditional style expected of Navajo pottery. The jar is signed on the bottom. This is an extraordinary vessel in both form and size for Samuel doesn’t make this size very often.
A self-taught potter, Samuel gathers the local clay which is dried, prepared and cured for months. Samuel tells me that he creates his pottery in his mind first before ever beginning to build the pots. Once he has formed his pottery, he fires it in cedar wood. After firing, Samuel applies refined piñon tree sap to his pottery and finishes it by polishing to a high sheen. The gorgeous dark fire clouds are a hallmark of Samuel’s pottery, and they just happen by chance. Notice how beautiful the ones in this piece are!
Samuel has become one of the most collected Navajo potters of today. He has been making his elegant, minimalist pottery in the traditional Navajo method for the past several years focusing on suburb shapes and forms, which are sophisticated and elegant. His work marks the continuing movement of Navajo pottery to more sophisticated forms with more refined finishes.
Condition: Excellent – original condition – new.
Provenance: Acquired from the artist.