Hummingbird and Rose Olla – with a Surprise

Helen Tafoya Henderson

$1,200.00

Description

A beautiful, olla with a well-balanced design, comprised of multiple textures, patterns and colors.

The etched design, for which this artist is noted, is the traditional, beloved, hummingbird, butterfly, and wild rose motif.

Both the graceful little birds, and the lovely butterflies, help to cross-pollinate plants and crops. Happy crops mean happy, healthy people.

On one face of the olla, the birds, butterflies and roses are accompanied by stepped rain designs,and angular spirals denoting stormy winds and clouds.

Water is the other, precious component needed for happy plants.

All the above designs are contained within a large  circle, with the butterflies captured in separate circles.

A row of stepped, triangular designs marches along, toward the bottom, forming another partial circle. At the very bottom, two sets of stylized feathers fan out at either side.

The beige base clay is lightly textured all over, while the natural red clay slip has been stone polished to a high luster, before the intricate designs were scratched out.

All the clay used in this fascinating piece was gathered, mixed, coiled, smoothed, and stone-polished, by hand.

The other side, reveals a  totally different look!

The top of the piece retains the dark russet clay slip of the decorated side, but then cedes to three rows of plump coils.

Rosy, micaceous clay slip, is followed by a swirl of  dark brown, then the beige clay of the base, and, finally, the bottom half  is of the rosy-hued clay, again, but not micaceous here.

These have been carved out of the side of the pot, and form a slightly curved, graceful line.

A  virtuoso piece of pottery skill, this olla combines several techniques, and two separate looks, in one piece.

The incised designs are what this fine artist is known for, and some of the finest done by any potter; the sweeping coils are an unexpected and creative touch of her own.

Tiny beads of turquoise, coral and mother of pearl – a traditional set of materials – add another set of colors and textures.

Complex, yet harmonious and well balanced; full of traditional good luck symbols that are beautiful, as well, this is a very unusual work of pottery art.

Additional information

Dimensions

4 3/4" H x 6 1/4" Diameter

Medium

Mother of Pearl, Natural Coral, Natural Handmade Clay and Clay Slips, Turquoise