About this artwork
Nupe potters use a convex-mold technique to form the base of round-bottomed vessels. In this method they hammer a flat disk of clay over the top of a mold, usually a fired pot, until achieving the desired shape. They then finish the piece with coils if so desired. This spherical water container illustrates the myriad, complex variations on forms and linear embellishments that Nupe potters have pioneered.
On this example, the gently slopping lower half transitions into a softly rounded top and terminates in a short rim. Lines defining horizontal bands of various widths encircle the container from top to bottom. Closely spaced diagonal lines articulate the wider of these and are periodically interrupted by small areas of burnishing, some of which are framed by rainbows of arching lines, creating resting points for the eye. Highly burnished bands, one at the vessel’s waist and one midway between the waist and neck, provide welcome breaks in the exhaustive patterning, and a quickly scrawled swagging line adds unexpected visual interest. [See also 2012.500].
- Currently Off View
- Arts of Africa
- Water Container
- 31.8 × 38.1 cm (12 1/2 × 15 in.)
- Gift of Keith Achepohl