Historic Parrot Design Olla


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She learned pottery making from her namesake grandmother, Delores Sanchez, and her mother, Marie S. Juanico, both noted potters, as is her mother-in-law, Wanda Aragon.

Younger Delores is especially known for her prize-winning, miniature ollas, decorated in authentic historic designs.

This enchanting little parrot pot is marked “1870-1880’s” on the bottom, along with her name and cornstalk hallmark.

That is the date of the delightfully decorative and lacy version of the design. Delores always notes the date of the design on her pots.

The lovely shape of the pot and its wonderful thinness are characteristic of this potter’s refined and expert skill.

Working with the natural white Acoma clay, she has painted the interlocking motifs with red clay slip and brown vegetal paint, both natural, as well.

Everything about this piece is exceptionally pleasing and well done. It is traditional in execution, from gathering and mixing the clay, coiling and smoothing it, and burnishing and painting it. All by hand.

The design is iconic, but the repetition of scallops, the multitude of curves, the daintily painted plant, and flower forms, joined with bold geometric patterns,  give this splendid olla its special allure.

The artist is quoted as saying: “It makes me feel good – a part of my ancestors – to do (pottery) in the traditional way.”

And she does it to the admiration of judges, collectors, and all of us who appreciate beautiful art.

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