Stoneware Jar


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. Artist Statement: 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.

Object Information

Date Created:


Local ID:



Decorative Arts


11" h 6" w 6" d


Shirley M. Brauker


Stoneware Glazed with Iron Oxide


Public Domain