Micaceous Bear Fetish Olla
A young, major-award-winning artist who is changing the perception of Zuni pottery, which is traditionally white, with red and black deer, motifs, etc.
This is what Zuni pottery looks like in the hands of a bountifully creative spirit.
Traditional in form and the use of fetish animals at the four directional points, this opulently shaped olla gleams with the mica-imbued clay slip, and exudes a powerful, archaic sophistication.
The dark blackish-brown coloration is created by fire clouds, the result of firing in the ground.
The glittering sparkle of mica fragments in the clay slip, that is all the decoration needed on the perfectly formed body of the piece, itself
Each fetish was made separately, and attached with turquoise heishi beads, interspersed with other stones.
Natural parrot feathers, each one hand-tied, adorn each fetish.
Rather than carving the different animal guardians of the four sacred directions, as would be traditional, the artist has made all four of them bears. This way, he doesn’t defile his people’s spiritual beliefs.
The bear, however, is a powerful symbol of protection and good luck, so this arresting piece still conveys traditional meaning.
Notice the chips of turquoise and another bear, in the bottom of the interior.
Stately beauty, powerful protection, good luck, and an important artist’s extraordinary work, all in one impressive piece!