Mother Juanita Fragua is an official “Local Treasure”, and brother Cliff Fragua is a nationally honored sculptor.
Glendora is also considered to be “at the top of the ladder” among Jemez potters.
Her specialty of sgrafitto technique – designs that are scratched or etched into the clay – has brought her the respect and admiration of collectors and prestigious show judges.
This graphic seed pot is in her preferred ovoid form. It is especially dramatic in the sharp contrast between the creamy base clay and the black/brown surface.
All natural, the clay is hand made, hand-coiled, hand-carved, stone-polished by hand, and pit-fired. The dark surface color results from smothering the flames during firing.
The decorative, all-over pattern is typical of her work. Here, the complex of motifs refer to water, in different forms, leading to abundance.
A dragonfly – that hovers over streams – many angular spirals of stormy wind and clouds, stepped rain signs, spirals and wavy lines denoting water, and circles representing raindrops, cover the burnished surface.
There are also flowers, symbolizing the happy result of rain and water: thriving plants and crops. A metaphor for prosperity, good health and happiness.
The lively pattern of the decoration beautifully emphasizes the elegant form of the piece.
Not just striking and expertly formed, this seed pot has meaning, as well.
In place of a signature, she uses a cornstalk, symbol of her clan – and of the blessed result of enough water.