Randall Blaze is a Plains artist with an impressive reputation for his art and community service, both.
He has won numerous awards for his non-traditional pottery, all over the country, including Santa Fe Indian Market.
Now residing in his home state of South Dakota, his Oglala Art Center brings art to schools and adults across the state, Native and non-Native alike.
Native artists are more and more adept at creating contemporary pieces with whiffs of tradition.
This olla is an example of non-traditional materials displaying traditional symbols.
Formed of commercial clay and glazes, this pot is decorated by cast bronze lizards, and inlaid rectangles of dendritic agate.
The form is interesting, suggesting the gently rolling hills of the artist’s Oglala Sioux country.
Smoothly finished, with a subtle burnish, the surface is a handsome gunmetal grey/black that emphasized the sleek rotundity of the form.
Glistening, cast bronze lizards are an effective contrast, in hue and texture, to the plain clay.
So are the plaques of pale, webbed, dendritic agate, placed in each of the raised, undulating ribs of the piece.
Inside, an additional surprise: the entire inner surface is coated with a shiny, royal blue glaze!
This means that, as well as enjoying the exterior, and its unusual designs and surface, you may put live flowers in this pot, without fear of it decomposing to mud.
Handsome, contemporary, with a touch of Japanese pottery echoes and traditional symbols, this is a dramatic, impressive, piece by a ground-breaking artist.