A Choctaw, living in New Mexico, this accomplished potter is a member of the Turtle Clan.
It makes sense, then, that he creates prize-winning turtle storytellers with the pottery technique of his adopted state, adapted to his circumstances.
His adorably amiable turtles are made of clay, by hand, fired in an oil can, with wood fuel, and painted, in this case.
Here, he has melded his turtle-clan heritage with the Pueblo lore of his new home: The turtle storyteller is a Koshare, a Pueblo clown.
Instantly recognizable, with a black and white striped body and tufted headdress, Koshares are favorite collectors’ items.
They act as social regulators, burlesquing inappropriate behavior, so are often shown with watermelons, which are messy.
The stripes disguise their segmented and textured shells, but Grampa’s shell is clearly modeled, and his head emerges from a fleshy collar. His breastplate is also well-defined.
The buckskin leather medicine bag slung around his shoulder supposedly holds corn meal, to pray over.
The two little turtles seem wholly wrapped up in the tale ( hoping for a piece of that luscious watermelon, too ), wide-eyed and clinging to Grampa’s flippers, with little tails curled up, behind.
With fine sculpting and appealing smiles, it is easy to see why Randy’s award-winning turtles are collected and cherished, world-wide