Dolores Curran was born in 1954 into the Santa Clara Pueblo. Around 1977, she married Alvin Curran (deceased) and moved to San Juan. She made her first piece of pottery at age nine! Using the traditional methods of pottery making she learned from her grandmother, Dolores went on to develop her own style of contemporary hand polished, painted, and carved pottery. Known for her miniatures, she is one of the most precise etchers and painters we know. Dolores is a traditionalist. She breaks down the clumps of clay to form a fine powder form and hand mixes water with volcanic ash. Once the clay is mixed to a fine medium she then builds her pottery by using the coiling method. When the pots are dried, she then sands down the rough edges for a smooth finish. Then the painting process begins. Using paint from natural vegetation, she intricately designs her pots with numerous Pueblo symbols. Often, she uses the themes of avanyu clouds, feathers, bears, trees, rain, and mountains. She signs her work: Dolores Curran SCP. Her daughter, Ursula, and her sister, Geri Naranjo, are also talented potters, also specializing in miniatures.
Just as beautiful as Dolores’ black minis are, the deep red polished and slipped miniatures are equally as gorgeous. Here is a red jar with a stair stepped micaceous tight-fitting lid. The carved feather pattern here is fantastic. Alternating between red and tan, each feather is perfectly placed as the top border. Below that border is floral imagery. And the bottom band is also deep red, and beautifully incised. No wonder Dolores has received so many awards and accolades.
1 3/8″ by 1 5/16″ – with lid – 2 1/16″ high