This celebrated pottery artist’s work is instantly recognizable by the “computer printout ” patterns of her designs.
She combines thin walls, pure form and incredibly perfect painting in her eagerly collected, prize-winning work. All these elements are present in this splendid olla.
The dazzling pattern of stylized cloud, water, and/or path of life signs alternate with areas of polychrome stripes on the clear white Acoma clay base.
The tiny squares of black on white are arranged in the diagonal, to emphasize the pleasingly swelling form.
Similarly, the diamond shapes of four different colors are both graduated in size – smaller at top and bottom and larger in the center – and form vertical stripes, to accentuate the curves of the pot.
She calls this four-paneled design her “Four Seasons” pattern. Each of the polychrome panels is different, referring to a different season.
The black is derived from boiling wild spinach, or grinding up onyx, the white is the base clay, and the warm hues are from natural clay slips, powdered clay mixed with water to make a paint.
The red slip is mixed with white to form pink; black, red and white form the taupe-y grey. Each angular spiral is a collection of tiny squares.
But the white squares are not painted on; they are the white base clay. Therefore, the complex design is painted in reverse – black on white.
That leave space for every tiny white square to show through!
The multicolored panels consist of diamond and squares of beautifully modulated colors – all natural.
Notice how one panel is made up of “stripes” of diamond shapes, in a regular pattern of three rows of colors separated by one strip of black on white.
The other, looks like diagonal squares and triangles, swooping from bottom to top.
There is less white in this pattern, which actually consists of squares divided diagonally in two.
The artist has arranged them so it looks as if there are diagonal rows of pink, red, and brownish grey.
The plain white rim, with the interior band of red, which is traditional, give the eye a place to rest from the amazing complexity of the allover pattern.
The simple white bottom serves a similar purpose.
Exceptional in all aspects, from potting to painting, this olla is a magnificent example of Frederica’s remarkable talent.
This superb pot will be enjoyed by generations to come.