- United States
Hubert Candelario, United States
Height: 11.25 in. Width: 8.25 in.
Denver Art Museum Collection: Gift of Virginia Vogel Mattern, 2003.1034
Photograph © Denver Art Museum 2009. All Rights Reserved.
About the Artist
“There are only four potters at San Felipe Pueblo,” says Hubert Candelario, “and I’m one. The other three are married to potters from other pueblos, and that’s how they learned. Me? I just had a feel for it.”
Hubert Candelario was born in 1965 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Before becoming a professional artist, he studied architectural drafting and design at the Pheonix Institute of Technology in Arizona. In the 1980s he developed an interest in clay and began experimenting with pottery techniques and form. He was inspired by the work of Maria Martinez (whose work is also on the Creativity Resource website) and was fascinated by ancient Pueblo pottery designs. Because there are very few potters from San Felipe Pueblo, Candelario did not learn techniques from others, but experimented with his own personal style. “As a contemporary Native American Indian potter I have no limits, only choices,” he says. Today, Candelario lives in Albuquerque where he works on his pottery full-time.
What Inspired It
After learning the basic techniques used to create a piece of pottery, Candelario used his experience in structure and design to move beyond the boundaries of traditional pottery. When speaking about a similar “Holey Pot” Candelario said, “I have always loved structure and design, fields that I originally studied at school. While making this pot, I thought about ways to incorporate structural principles into the design. I began cutting away holes in a traditional pot to see how far I could push the limits of structure. It was a technical challenge that succeeded.”
The clay and slip that Candelario uses contain gold colored flakes of mica that give the finished pot a glowing and sparkling surface.
Perfectly round holes pierce the jar on all sides. According to Candelario, “the holes are like nature; they are the structure of cells.” He first forms the jar by using a traditional method of coiling clay from a bowl base. After letting the clay dry for a few days, he uses a circular template to draw circles and then carves the holes using an Xacto knife. He carves the bottom of the pot first, then turns it over and carves the top. If cracks occur at any point, he will start over from the beginning.
Quick Classroom Ideas
- Allow students to experiment with structure and pushing the limits by playing games like Jenga and Kerplunk and then discuss how Candelario pushed the limits with his own work.
- This piece is called Jar, but would not function as a normal jar would. Ask the students if they believe that it is a jar. Why or why not? What makes a jar a jar?