One of the premier potters in Hopi, this artist started out as a kachina carver.
His pottery often is confused with wood, given the intricate spatter and linear layers he paints on the base clay.
He says, “My style of Hopi art cannot be taught in any school. Only a Hopi can do what I can do because you need to understand all aspects of the Hopi culture as well as living the traditional lifestyle of the Hopi. You must learn the culture and myths to succeed.”
This elegantly formed olla is characteristic of his work, as are the varied surface patterns and ancient motifs.
The circlet of dark brown with white rectangles, around the neck, symbolizes drops of water.
Four irregular areas just below this are carved, as well as painted.
They represent the four directions of the earth, where it is hoped the blessings of sun and water extend.
Framed by wavy dark lines, like flowing streams, these segments include: The hand of blessing and protection; the water spiral, or river of life; tadpoles and parallel lines of rain; and the sun, to balance the blessing of water.
Painted on the burnished and paint-spattered body of the olla are various petroglyph figures, as seen in ancient rock art.
Depicted are: a hunter with spear; a figure with corn-kernel body; A Kokopelli-like figure with a basket and long planting tool; and a figure who is hanging up a fish and a meat animal, presumably to dry for the winter.
Taken all together, this pot refers to hopes for the balance of water and sun, which promotes a successful planting season, as well as good luck in hunting and fishing.
In short: good luck, abundance, happiness and good health.
A welcome message, and a superb pot, by a recognized master.