Lizards and LadybugsBarbara and Joseph Cerno
This husband-and-wife team are recognized as contemporary artists of the first rank.
They are among some of the finest potters of this – or any! – era, according to experts.
This impressive olla is typical: very large, perfectly symmetrical in form, thin-walled, and beautifully finished.
They both gather and mix the clay; Joseph shapes the piece, Barbara paints the design, and each piece is pit-fired.
Totally traditional, their pottery process can take as much as a full year to complete: the clay is left to age for at least 6 months and large ollas dry for another 3 or 4 months between forming and firing.
Here is a piece any collector and /or museum would be thrilled to have.
Formed to graceful perfection, the native Acoma clay mix is hand-coiled and -smoothed to an amazingly thin and even wall.
An all-over pattern of ladybugs and lizards is painted with the expected Cerno precision.
The black is a paint made from wild spinach plants; the red is a red clay slip.
Lizards and ladybugs eat pests, helping to keep crops free from harm. They are old, old symbols of good luck.
Amazingly complex, the pattern is entirely painted by hand without a template.
This piece is imposing, in quintessential Cerno style: The size is majestic, the form is classically elegant, the pattern is original, lively and impeccably painted.
A magnificent example of the Cernos’ celebrated mastery.