Son of the late Mary Frances Herrera, brother of Dorothy and Mary R Herrera, this potter is firmly established in Cochiti Pueblo’s highly respected, long-time pottery tradition.
He is just coming back to his art, after working elsewhere, and this splendid bowl of impressive size is one of the pieces he just brought us.
Majestic in size and flawless in form and painting, this is a contemporary version of the dough bowls that were essential to every Pueblo household.
Like most Cochiti pottery, it is not polished so look, but do not handle very much; the natural oils in our hands can leave indelible marks on the matte finish.
That finish, the design, and the shape are all as perfect as human hands can make them.
The design of corn stalks, rain clouds, etc. are traditional symbols, depicted and arranged in the artist’s own interpretations.
They are good luck signs, celebrating the balance of nature that produces a good harvest.
Painted in a red clay slip, the interior of the large bowl is utterly smooth, with nary a suggestion of a ridge to reveal its coiled construction.
The wild-spinach-black painted designs are just as meticulous: every outline is exact.
The red clay slip on the bottom is as traditional to Cochiti as the pleasing palette of black, ecru, and soft red.
Although you won’t be using this exceptional bowl for bread-making, its commanding size and graphic appearance will make it a star centerpiece wherever you place it.