2012-18 Large Vase with Geometric and Avian Designs

Object ID:
2012-18

Artist:
Debbie Clashin

Dimensions:
10.3125” h X 7.375” w

A thin-over-thick solid black framing line encircles the mouth and base of this vase. Just below the top framing band is a band of geometric elements. Pendant is four curvilinear shapes that reach towards the base of the vase and are evenly-spaced around the circumference. These are wide and incorporate additional polychromatic geometric elements for a bit over half their length, then suddenly narrow to a single black line forming a coil. At the lowest point of the arc two black thin forms emerge and bracket an abstract prayer feather.

The design fits the shape of the vessel. Like Nampeyo, Debbie creates tension between the linear band of design at the top and the attached curvilinear elements, though the fine-line forming the ending coil seems visually light compared to the rest of the design. Also, like Nampeyo, Debbie uses undecorated areas to highlight her design.

The pot is fairly evenly blushed though there is one quadrant with darker smudge marks where the manure used for firing touched the surface of the pot.

Purchase History:
Purchased on 9/22/12 from Dave Parker of Monroe, Utah. [Receipt on file.] The pot had been listed on eBay but perhaps because of its high gloss finish it did not receive an offer. I offered somewhat less than 60% of his asking price after the bidding closed. Dave initially turned down my offer, and then later accepted it. According to the Dave, Debbie Chashin was trained by Diana Tahbo, also of the Tobacco Clan.

I had written Dave asking about the unusual high gloss finish apparent in the eBay photograph. He replied: “You are right. Most Hopi pots get their polish from Vaseline or Crisco after they are fired. Some artists use unsennted hair spray. Others spray a semi-gloss polyurithane, but Debbie accidently bought a High Gloss product from her lack of knowledge. She is relatively new to pottery although her molding and painting are perfect. I felt bad for her and offered to help her market the piece. I’m conflicted with the look. It’s kinda cool and kinda different.” I did not like the finish and, based on my experience with pottery restorer Andy Goldschmidt (see 1997-05), I washed vase 2012-18 in acetone and removed the polyurethane coating.