Black and Red Bowl with Sunface and KachinasSue and Tom Tapia
Sue and Tom were award-winners, famous for the clarity of their etched and carved designs and the pure forms of their pieces.
Tom usually designed the piece, and did the sgrafitto work, while Sue formed it, and did the deep carving.
Sue continues to create handsome pottery on her own, since Tom passed away, a few years ago.
We still have a few, outstanding pieces that they collaborated on. This darkly dramatic bowl is one of them.
Like the prized Greek vases of ancient times, the red and black palette is arresting. It is completely natural and traditional.
The natural red clay base glows like embers, under the stone-polished black surface.
The bowl was completely coated with a clay slip, which then turned indelibly black, when the pit-fire was smothered with powdered dry, sheep or horse manure.
Tom’s intricate, impeccable, designs were scratched out of the piece, after the stone polishing.
Mosaic-like Sunface designs alternate with vignettes of ceremonial dancers and drummers.
Timeless in design, and jaw-dropping in its precision, this striking bowl is a worthy reminder of this remarkable pottery team.