Owls are not only a traditional Pueblo symbol, but a family tradition, usually the specialty of the artist’s sister, Laura Gachupin.
With her own take on the subject, Maxine has created a marvelously appealing, sculptural figure that is a real departure for this award-winning potter.
She is renowned for figures of sleek, minimalistic elegance, with graceful, simple lines and glossy, stone polished finishes.
This handsome fellow, by contrast, is almost entirely matte, ornately decorated, and bristling with a sculpted, marvelously textural chestful of “feathers”.
Note that the feathers are graduated in size: small at the top, largest at middle, and small again, at the bottom.
The owl’s characteristic large eyes are carved to stand out, stone polished – the only part of the piece that is – and painted around the rim, for emphasis.
The precise, painted ornamentation includes beautifully stylized feathered wings, fine-line rain symbols, plant forms down the back, and other traditional symbols.
Owls are honored for their ability to hunt at night, and warn of enemies with their hooting.
They protect crops by preying on rodents and other seed and plant-eating creatures, as well.
With his wide-open eyes and serious glance, this splendid owl will protect your home, too.
Totally traditional in execution, from gathering the clay to pit-firing, this is a wonderful piece.
The delightful, three-dimensional silhouette combines beautiful painting, craggy texture and elegant carving.
In addition, this solemn, but appealing, owl is a real collector’s find, since it is so different from this award-winning potter’s more usual work.