An exceptional piece by one of the younger, gifted potters from this Northern Mexico tribe.
They are descendants of Pueblo people who fled south, to avoid the return of Spanish rule, re-established after the failure of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.
Ever since the rediscovery of historic pottery shards, in the 1960’s, the pottery of Casas Grande has become more and more assured and creative.
This astonishing piece shows how far some potters of Casas Grande have come, in their styles, and their confidence.
Made the same way as pottery in the northern pueblos of the artist’s ancestors, this incredible olla is a blend of tradition, creative innovation, and a dual heritage.
The shapely oval is cut out almost everywhere, leaving the painted areas solid.
Cutting out major portions of a pot – especially one this size – is no easy matter; the technical prowess is as impressive as the handsome palette and well-drawn designs.
Large-scale flowers, surrounded by leafy foliage and twiggy stems, wind around the pot.
A trio of large butterflies, formed and painted, separately, hover over the blossoms – literally.
They are superimposed on the body of the olla, overlapping the flowers and other forms.
The shape, colors, and style of the flowers, foliage and butterflies seem distinctly Mexican – bringing to mind the embroidered flowers seen on blouses.
There is a jungle-y exuberance about the size and lushness of the floral elements, and the butterflies, too.
Around the rim of the pot, a black band features rectangles with fine, parallel lines. There is a jagged and stepped element that leads from the rim to one of the butterflies, as well.
Here is the other cultural influence: these resemble rainfall, rain, and lightning symbols, as found still, on Pueblo pottery north of the border.
A virtuoso piece of pottery-making, beautifully painted in a pleasing palette of russet and leafy green, with accents of black, and cream – the base clay.
Enjoy the merging of two cultures, joined for over four centuries, in this animated and delightful olla.