An exceptional piece by one of the younger, gifted potters from this Northern Mexico tribe. Ever since the rediscovery of historic pottery shards, in the 1960’s, the pottery of Casas Grande has become more and more assured and creative. This amazing piece is an example of how far these descendants of Pueblo Indians have come, in asserting and perfecting their own styles.
A well-formed, tapering oval is cut out almost everywhere, leaving the painted spots solid, even though they sometimes protrude into the cut-out areas – look at the elks’ hooves and parts of their antlers. Cutting out major portions of a pot – especially one this size – is no easy matter; the technical prowess is as impressive as the pleasing palette and well-drawn designs.
Although the background of the piece is painted with a red clay slip and plant-derived black, the cut-outs have been placed so that the creamy beige of the base clay is an important feature of the design. Designs, plural, rather, for the elk are only one of the wild animals depicted. On the other side of the pot, a flock of geese take to the air, and the reason is shown on the third side: two bears have taken down an elk.
Not only is the artist a superb potter, he also must be a skilled hunter, because each animal and bird is painted with meticulous, detailed naturalism, even to their individual expressions. This is a major piece by a potter in full command of his extraordinary skill.
Lovers of exceptional pottery, the outdoors, hunting, or wildlife, will especially appreciate this astounding piece.