An unusual shape, with the artist’s usual, high-quality work. Most noted for collaborating with his wife, Sue, the late Tom Tapia was celebrated for his incredibly precise and intricate sgrafitto work.
This is the only piece we still have that was all his own work.
Sue usually designed the pots, so Tom adapted this striking, rather Egyptian-looking, Eagle Dancer motif from a Woody Crumbo painting.
The bear paw and other symbols invoke power, protection and prayer.
The unseen side is covered with a Sunface, and two concentric borders of feathers.
The terra cotta of the clay against the stone-polished black slip creates a gorgeous, graphic and textural contrast.
The artist’s reputation is for this sort of impeccable work, where the design is scratched out of the body of the pit-fired piece.
Even on his own, he created a wonderful piece to remember him by.