This accomplished potter has a slew of ribbons from Santa Fe Indian Market, and other prestigious shows, under her own belt, as well as mentoring her award-winning nieces, Marcella and Emma.
This seed pot is typical of her prize-winning work: shapely, incised, and stone polished with wonderful precision and artistry, it impresses despite its modest – and marvelously easy to display – size.
Sgraffito means scratched out, and the entire, design has been carefully carved out of the stone-polished red clay slip.
The underlying creamy clay is the base, which was hand-gathered and formed in coils, then smoothed; the red clay was powdered, and mixed with water to form a thick paint, then polished with a hand-held stone when the piece was hard enough.
The complex design was “scratched in” as a final step, after firing the piece in the ground.
The designs tell the entire story, from the main focal points (the butterfly and hummingbird) to the budding and blooming flowers (springtime and food for the featured flying friends), to the kiva steps (prayers for the people and all life within the Pueblo).
These designs and the overall theme speak to the prayers that are said for prosperity and the spreading of that message for all.
The very bottom of the piece is polished and red, like the rim.
Well-formed, the shape of the piece and its designs are beautifully complementary; this balance is an ideal criterion of Native pottery.
Lovely form, and crisply delineated design elements, make this seed pot more impressive than its size would suggest.
And it is so easy to display!