Incised Dragonfly Vase
From Jemez Pueblo, with family ties to San Ildefonso Pueblo as well, she is considered to be “at the top of the ladder” among Jemez potters.
Her specialty of sgrafitto technique – designs that are scratched or etched into the clay – has brought her the respect and admiration of serious collectors and prestigious show judges.
Using all natural materials and pigments, the entire surface is embellished with a lively collection of precise, graceful designs.
Needless to say, every step has been done by hand, from gathering and mixing the clay to the final pit firing.
The dramatic color palette consists of the beige base clay, red clay slip, “paint” derived from boiling wild spinach plants, and skillful combining of these.
The gracefully curled plant forms harmonize with the lovely proportions and tapered form of the pot itself.
A stippled band at the top emphasizes the flowing scallops of the rim.
A multitude of dragonflies flit over the entire surface of the piece, on one side, with beautifully detailed butterflies on the other.
Water spirals in various sizes, both etched and painted, add to the buoyant design.
The design is lovely, lively and lyrical, but the theme is serious.
Dragonflies hover over waterways and butterflies help to pollinate plants and crops.
They are not only beautiful to look at, they help to ensure enough to eat.
Good luck, good health, happiness and abundance follow.
If you are lucky enough to acquire this outstanding piece, by a preeminent potter, happiness is sure to follow, as well.