The mother of award-winning potter Andrew Padilla, she is also a highly respected, veteran Laguna Pueblo potter.
Gladys is known for her traditional designs, as well as traditional technique.
The wedding vase is a Pueblo icon, but Gladys has interpreted it in a fresh, feminine and flowing style.
The design is crisply painted, and beautifully conceived to emphasize and harmonize with the graceful form of the pot.
A version of the traditional parrot holds a flower in its beak, with another floral design on the body. Feathers extend in both the stylized wing, and the tail, where they are dotted.
Feathers symbolize hopes, prayers and wishes, very apt for a wedding vase.
Red clay slip around the spouts and bold rope handle add to the vigorous beauty of the pottery.
However, she has also left plenty of white space, so the design elements each stand out beautifully.
Serene, but with vivacity and graphic drama, this is entirely hand made, of course, from hand-gathered clay to natural pigments.
A handsomely formed, perfectly painted and designed, beautiful example of timeless pottery making.
As she is getting older, this award-winning potter has reduced her output recently, but the quality and artistry are as evident as always.
PS With the purchase of a wedding vase, we provide a printed account of the role it plays in Pueblo wedding ceremonies, written by a Native potter.