This traditional pottery shape is created by the magical blending of science and art that is hot-blown glass. Tony is recognized as one of the masters of molten-blown glass art in the United States, and his reputation and collectors are international in scope.
He is one of the few Native glass artists to prefer the hot-blown glass method, rather than slab or molded glass. The artist is a colleague of Dale Chihuly, the foremost glass artist in the country – if not the world.
As round and tempting as a crispy fresh apple, as enticing as a tropical lime, this radiant glass olla seems to glow.
The happy green color is a separate casing over the clear glass base; the sparkly rim and decorations – black rounds, red stripe, etc. – were applied while the glass was still hot and on the blowing rod.
True to his Pueblo roots as a potter, most of Tony’s work derives from the traditional forms of Indian pottery. Tradition is also brought into the contemporary present by the applied black circles that hug the neck of the piece.
Black provides a dramatic and effective contrast to the sun-bright green, and the petal-like designs add a bit of texture to the sensuously smooth main body.
Those designs are made by using the artist’s grandfather’s handmade jewelry stamps on molten glass – an homage to his own, and his tribe’s, heritage.
Deep maroon forms the background on the neck, with a vivid red-orange line peeping out from behind the stamped rounds.
Sparkling fragments of black glass add a rougher texture atop the rim, while other, free-form ribbons of vibrant red-orange and dark glass, flow across the bottom of the piece.
Olive green glass dots are sprinkled in gradual density all over the bottom part of the olla, creating a wonderful illusion of shadowing.
The total result? Totally gorgeous! Tremendous skill, artistic vision, strength – and a tad of serendipity – are involved in making this luminous, museum-worthy piece.