Chris is one of the many talented Fraguas, all fine potters, who really enjoy making storytellers.
This unusual trio is completely traditional in hand-fabrication, from gathering and mixing the clays, to forming, painting, and firing in the ground.
The colors are a combination of hand-gathered local clay, natural clay slip, plant pigment – the black – and paint.
Mudheads are Pueblo clowns, with additional ceremonial duties.
Caked with the reddish mud of the mesas, they are readily recognizable by their muddy color and the blobs of mud that form their top-knots, eyes, ears and mouth.
Grandpa Mudhead, here, seems to have told the little ones something astounding: one of the Mudkids looks astonished; the other, rather unconvinced.
Grandpa’s kerchief has a sun sign on the front, with circles, signifying drops of water, around the edges.
The Mudkids wear kerchiefs with water drops, and Grandpa’s kilt sports a family of turtles – more water symbols, implying good luck.
This artist has a very whimsical, personal style, well-suited to the subject of clowns.
As always, underlying the fun is a serious message of hope for sun and water in balance, so crops will thrive.
Amusing, and traditional, this is fine addition to a storyteller collection, or for someone with two boys!