Hopi low-shoulder jar, eagle-feather design, Darlene Nampeyo. Although an accomplished artist (“Best of Show” at the 1987 Museum of Northern Arizona show), Darlene was not experienced at firing large pots. Born in 1956, she spent a couple of weeks in the summer of 1988 with her aunt, Dextra Nampeyo, learning how to make large pots. This was her most recent attempt and it cracked in the firing. Repaired with glue by the artist. (Darlene enjoyed feeling and examining the old 1915 Nampeyo (1988-01) pot by her great- great grandmother and discussed its merits in Hopi with her family.) Darlene’s picture is in Dillingham (1994:55).
This pot is modeled after “Old Lady” pot, 2005-16. While still delicate, Darlene’s incurved lines on 1988-02 are heavier than her great grandmother’s, while (conversely) the “Old Lady’s” interspersed three feather and “batman” design is chunkier and not a delicate as the design of Darlene, who has reduced the feathers to mere lines. On both pots, however, the light/heavy tension between these two design elements adds a visual interest by throwing the design off balance.
For another pot by Darlene with a variation of the eagle-feather design, see 1989-02. See the “eagle-tail” section of the Category List for a complete listing of others pots in this collection with this design.