Fish and Turtles VaseGlendora Fragua
A vase that celebrates water, but will never hold water (unless you want a mud puddle instead of a vase).
The shapely form has a wavy rim, suggesting a waterway. The entire surface is embellished with wonderfully precise and graceful designs.
The striking palette of black, red, and beige, and the symmetrical design, keep the vase both serene and dramatic.
Against the painted black background, created by boiling wild spinach plants, turtles and fish float happily.
Surrounded by spiral symbols of water, they are separated into individual panels by vertical, wavy lines that also refer to flowing water.
The incised designs reveal some of the creamy base clay, and are painted with red clay slip touches.
There are circles symbolizing drops of water, to reinforce the theme, and both rim and bottom are speckled with red slip, to mimic rain and water drops.
The design is an adroit combination of etching and painting.
The turtles are decorated with flowers, in colors that are reversed in the two turtle panels.
Similarly, the fish, in their two panels, are striped in colors that are the reverse of each other.
The entire piece is covered with rollicking, animated pattern, yet the black background spaces rest the eye, and keep every beautifully etched and painted element clearly noticeable.
Considered to be one of the very top Jemez potters, the artist is a multiple award-winner.
Her specialty of sgrafitto technique – designs that are scratched or etched into the clay – has brought her the respect and admiration of collectors and prestigious show judges alike.
She uses only all natural materials and traditional technique, but her pieces are totally individual.
In place of a signature, she uses a cornstalk, symbol of her clan – and of the blessed result of enough water.