Large Glass “Surprise” Bowl
This magnificent piece is by the foremost Native American hot-blown glass artist, whose reputation is international.
His work is represented in museums, here, and abroad.
He was a colleague of Dale Chihuly, the internationally recognized grand master of blown art glass.
Tony created a hot-glass school in Taos, modeled after Chihuly’s famous Boat House studio in Tacoma, Washington.
It has already developed a new generation of Native glass artists.
Tony, himself, is one of a mere handful of Native glass artists, and one of the only ones who works only in the very difficult hot-blown glass technique.
He started out as a potter, and many of his pieces reflect traditional pottery forms, as does this impressive bowl.
It would probably be in a museum, if we hadn’t had first dibs.
By size, alone, this is a stupendous piece, but there is much more than just that.
The expansive form is beautifully regular, and well-proportioned; that flattened form is difficult to achieve
The spangled surface results from many painstaking steps.
Originally, the piece was clear glass; the white surface is a coating of countless little white “jimmies”, applied while the hot glass was twirling on the rod.
Warm tan jimmies are scattered over that surface, while the matching rim was applied separately.
Inside, expressionistic, abstract designs in black and tan cover the bottom with emphatic, agitated movement.
These include abstractions of traditional symbols, including stepped rain signs, wavy waterways, and suggestions of feathers, which represent prayers.
The dramatic painting was applied under the clear glass that coats the interior.
Attached to the interior are two lovely, translucent cups, glowing with gorgeous, coral-hued jimmies that let light through.
They each have an applied black rim, that echoes the black design on the bottom.
Perhaps they symbolize vessels to catch the hoped-for rain.
There is one more decorative element: a small applied “doughnut” on the outside of the bowl.
The outside is a plump circle of multi-hued and clear glass, while the “hole” is an opaque dark brick color.
In some of his other pieces, Tony impressed historic trade beads, from Hubbell’s Trading Post, in a similar accent; this seems to be a reference to that.
Finally, this bowl is deliberately not flat on the bottom.
This forces it to sit at an angle, so the interior is visible at all times. Artistic ingenuity!
A major piece, by a renowned glass artist, this spectacular bowl is ready to be proudly displayed, and cherished for generations.
(Unless you want to leave it to a museum!)