Miniature Black Olla


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Kevin is a son of Geri Naranjo, nephew of Dolores Curran, and related to other artists in this renowned pottery clan. Like them, he is a regular award-winner.

This miniature olla is notable for its perfect proportions and form, and the marvelously precise and intricate designs incised on the surface.

Like all his work, it was made of hand-gathered clay, totally hand-worked in the traditional manner, and pit-fired.

The black color comes from a chemical reaction when dried, powdered sheep or horse manure smothers the flames, when at their hottest.

The finish results from hand-polishing with a special stone that fits the artist’s hand, turning the matte, flower-pot finish into the lustrous black seen here.

The rim of warm brown is the result of protecting that area from the powdered manure during firing, so the original red clay shows up, a very tricky process.

The elegantly precise designs that cover the pot refer mostly to rain and water; traditional good luck.

At the top, the traditional Avanyu, or Water Serpent, coils around the shoulder of the olla.

Below that, a series of traditional rain, water, and feather motifs fill the entire circumference of the pot.

Almost unseen, wonderfully delicate and complex designs of clouds, mountains, the water spiral, an Anasazi, adobe brick ruin, and other water signs run around the lowest part of the olla.

Flawlessly formed and finished, this little pot is filled with amazing, hand-incised details in a lovely design.

A little jewel.

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