ALICE CLING (1946– )
NAVAJO RESIN-COATED JAR 2018
It's not an overstatement to say that Alice Cling redefined Navajo pottery. Charles King writes that "her perfectly balanced pottery seems to hover on a narrow base and gracefully rise to amazing heights only to be accented by a wide shoulder." And here it is: the perfectly polished ware that we first discovered when we began collecting and that we used as the pure example of modern brownware in our first exhibit in 1993. The photograph below accompanied the exhibit, pairing her jar with an 1,100-year-old Mimbres Plain olla. Alice hasn't lost a step since. She still adheres to the traditional methods of coil, polish, open fire and sap coating inside and out, and if you put this piece alongside the one in the photo below, you'd be hard-pressed to identify which one was new and which one was 25 years old. We cherish that photograph to the point that we hang a large blowup of it next to the computer where we write our books.
To us, the most remarkable thing about this is that over the years, we've relied on our book partner, John Blom. to stockpile Alice's work. After all these years, this is the first piece by Alice we've ever owned.
4-1/2" diameter x 6-1/2" high
The signature is illegible, but it's there.
John's 1993 photograph for the exhibit.