A pottery artist with an interesting history: his father, known as Red Starr, was Sioux, but married Harriet Tafoya, of Santa Clara Pueblo.
Therefore, Norman was born into the Santa Clara Pueblo black pottery tradition, and has developed as a highly reputed artist. Sadly, he passed away in March of this year (2018).
He is noted especially for his intricate sgraffito work, as seen in this decorative wedding vase.
It was fashioned, by hand, of hand-gathered clay; coiled, smoothed, stone-polished and etched by hand, and fired in the ground.
With graceful flared spouts and a tall braided handle, this piece is more svelte than rotund, which gives it a distinctive form.
Complex, clearly precise patterns, etched out on the polished black clay background, create a richly ornamental design.
In the very center is a hummingbird, feathered wings aflutter, within a circular frame.
Both sides of the vase have the same motif, but in a different variation of the graceful bird.
Hummingbirds help to pollinate plants, including crops, so are symbols of good luck and fertility.
The border of triangles resembles the sun, another component needed for abundant crops.
A little eagle feather shows at top, bottom and both sides of the sun, representing prayers for an optimal balance of nature, for all the world.
Delicately detailed, larger feathers float around the outside of the circles, expressing more prayers.
A pretty, flower-like or star design appears on each spout, centered with a tiny, vibrant turquoise.
Beautiful to look at, and decorated with traditional and appropriate messages, this is a wonderfully handsome wedding vase, by a greatly respected, gifted artist.
A marvelous gift for anniversaries, too.
We include a description of how wedding vases are used in Santa Clara weddings with the purchase of this piece. It was written by another potter from this pueblo.
PS NEVER put water or any liquid in this wedding vase, please!
Also, when picking it up or carrying it, hold it from the bottom, NOT by the handle, which was merely added on and won’t hold.