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Helen Baca Shupla

Biography to Display: 

1928 Born Santa Clara, Pueblo, New Mexico

1985 Died



Studio Potter



Helen Shupla, a Santa Clara potteris best known for melon jars. Initially, her forming method wash and coiling, shaping, sanding, and polishing with a stone. Traditional open fire method of firing was used.1 After her marriage to Hopi Kachina Carver, Kenneth Shupla, Helen adjusted her process incorporating hopi clay, carving techniques and developed a unique melon form. Pushing the form from the interior of a closed coiled form, Helen’s melon pots are considered to have a unique plasticity.

” Early in her life Helen was producing black on black pottery, then she graduated to making carved and incised bowls, jars and plates before developing her signature melon jars. Her husband often helped with carving and incising her pots, using designs like the avanyu, rain clouds, lightning bolts and kiva steps.” -Cited January 23, 2019, 9:00AM

2. -Cited January 23, 2019, 9:00AM



Public Collections to Display: 

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California

Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado

Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona


Bibliography to Display: 

Trimble, Stephen. Talking with the Clay: The Art of Pueblo Pottery in the 21st Century. Santa FE, NM: School for Advanced Research Press, 1987



Typical Marks
ca 1970
Melon Bowl
Date: ca 1970
Materials: Earthenware
Dimensions: 8.5 X 9 inches in diameter
Crocker Art Museum, Gift of Loren G. Lipson, 2015.71.27.
Crocker Art Museum, Gift of Loren G. Lipson, 2015.71.27.
Date: 2000
Form: Jar
Materials: Earthenware
Crocker Art Museum, Gift of Loren G. Lipson
Crocker Art Museum, Gift of Loren G. Lipson

Citation: Clark, Donald. "The Marks Project." Last modified January 17, 2024.