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 Celebrating Our 25th Year 

Artwork by Helen Shupla

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About the Artist

(1928-1985) Santa Clara potter

Helen's husband was Kenneth Shupla, a Hopi Kachina carver who reportedly incised Helen's pottery with designs she drew.

Best known for her melon shaped bowls, which are polished and crenelated, which is artspeak for "they have ribs that protrude", Helen was encouraged to make melon bowls by her dealer and friend, Richard Spivey.

In 1978 Helen won a first prize at Indian Market in Santa Fe for a melon bowl, something she repeated the following year. In 1984, however, her wedding vase took First Prize at Indian Market in Santa Fe.

Helen's work has been published in articles appearing in: Arizona Highways (May 1974); Indian Artist (Summer 1996); The Messenger (Wheelwright Museum- Fall/Winter 1994) inside cover and SWAIA Quarterly Fall 1982. All five melon jars occupying the cover of Stephen Trimble's book Talking with the Clay The Art of Pueblo Pottery were created by Helen. Shupla's favorite designs include avanyu, rain clouds, lightning, melon and kiva steps.

Her spectacular pottery appears in museum collections nationwide and sells for aggressive sums at the major auction houses. Shupla's work most likely has been an influence on the next generation of Santa Clara potters such as Nancy Youngblood.