This multiple award-winning potter, famous for his marvelously sculpted and often humorous clay figures, was recently named a “Treasure of New Mexico”, along with his jeweler wife, Althea.
His artistic journey has led him to work more and more in bronze, but this wonderful figure is a stand-alone original.
He has combined his deep spirituality and unbounded creativity in this extraordinarily powerful clay sculpture.
The eagle is known as the sacred Guardian of the Skies. Eagles fly so high, they carry prayers from the earth, up to the heavens.
In the arid southwest, rain and water are among the greatest blessings and the subject of frequent prayers.
This Eagle Shaman is meticulously built, from the feathers on his head to the symbolism on his vest, in fully realistic color and detail.
He carries prayers for water, as water is life for the people, livestock, and crops of the Pueblo.
The three-dimensional symbols include the two lightning arrows, one in his hand and one balanced on a piece of pottery in front of him, with their colors indicating the wish for rain to fall from the sky to the earth below (yellow, to blue, and then earthy red). He is also holding a traditional bowl in his hand.
The back of his vest depicts a similar wish, with a cloud, rain, and more lightning arrows providing water to the Pueblo, and the kiva steps alluding to the prayers carried by the Shaman. The front of the vest includes traditional-style stars, most likely referring to the delivery of the blessings in all directions.
The Eagle Shaman also carries a medicine pouch around his neck, with the arrowhead on the front serving as protection for its precious cargo.
This is a true masterpiece, made from the skilled and caring hands of a generational artist, which could very well become the centerpiece of your collection!