This jar is made of stoneware clay and glazed with iron oxide stain. It is decorated with images of sturgeon and water motifs. The piece was commissioned by the Grand Rapids Public Museum in 2019. It was created by Shirley M. Brauker, a Michigan artist recognized for her pieces featuring Native American heritage.
I was first introduced to the sturgeon when my son Austen caught one after winning a lottery for a permit through our tribe, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. After viewing pictures of sturgeon, I was moved to design a pottery jar that represented the fish. This jar shows several sturgeon swimming around the surface. The top section shows waves. The lid has a swirling handle also representing waves. Hand formed fish are tied to the top. Black heads beads are used to represent the sturgeon eggs.
This pot is made from stoneware clay. It has been glazed with iron oxide stain. I paint it on, then wipe it away to highlight the surface. It has been fired twice in an electric kiln, first at around 1800 degrees, then glazed and fired again to 2300 degrees.
The sturgeon was a major provider of food for the Natives who lived near the Great Lakes.
Stoneware Glazed with Iron Oxide
11" h 6" w 6" d
Current Location Status:
Grand Fish, Grand River
(January 2016)Grand River, Grand Fish explores how the Great Lakes region’s largest and oldest fish, the Lake Sturgeon, once found in great abundance, is now a threatened species in our watersheds. The exhibit takes visitors through the connections to Native Americans, fishing history in the region and current science. Using artifacts from the GRPM Collections, along with the two live sturgeon, it will tie together the cultural, historical and scientific connections and explore rehabilitation efforts for this species in the Grand River and throughout the Great Lakes region.
Shirley M. BraukerShirley M. Brauker is a Native American artist and creator of Moon Bear Pottery and Indian Arts. Her art reflects her Native American heritage to help create a style of art unique to her. She attended Central Michigan University and received a Bachelor's, Masters, and PhD. Shirley M. BraukerShirley M. Brauker is a Native American artist and creator of Moon Bear Pottery and Indian Arts. Her art reflects her Native American heritage to help create a style of art unique to her. She attended Central Michigan University and received a Bachelor's, Masters, and PhD. Little River Band of Ottawa Indians