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Visit With Jake Koopee


I derive such pleasure from spending time with the American Indian artists that I represent.  I especially enjoy it when American Indian artists bring me new pieces of their artwork.  Recently, gifted American Indian potter Jake Koopee stopped by my home with an exquisite jar that he had just completed, and I was thrilled.

jake_koopee_and_marti_struever_with_his_jar Hopi Potter Jake Koopee Showing Marti Struever One of His Newest Jars
Jake Koopee, from Sichomovi Village on the first Hopi mesa in Northern Arizona, is one of those rare Native American potters today who work in an entirely traditional manner  .  .  . he fires his gorgeous, often very large jars in an open wood fire on the crest of a cliff near his home. Jake's firing process subjects his pottery jars to the vagaries of rain, wind, and sharp temperature shifts, any of which can cause his delicate vessels, some having been painted for weeks, to crack and sometimes be completely destroyed.

Jake and I had such fun admiring a large jar that he brought me with butterfly and frog motifs. As a member of the Flute clan, Koopee and his fellow clan members are responsible for bringing moisture to the drought-ridden Hopi mesas.  This jar of Jake's with its moths, butterflies and frogs symbolizes the coming rain and is interspersed with rain cloud motifs circling the neck of the jar.  In fact, another stunning jar that Jake recently brought me is entitled "Coming of the Rain."  This Jake Koopee moth jar is expertly painted with moths over water.  In creating it, Jake Koopee is clearly doing his part to help bring the rain.
Jake Koopee and His Large Moth and Butterfly Jar


No artist in the Southwest today has greater talent in designing and painting those designs on the exterior of pottery vessels.  I'll feature Jake Koopee's work from time to time right here on the website.


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