This charming, rotund olla is covered from top to – and around – the bottom with birds, twigs, and leaves.
In a subdued palette of earthy, natural clay slips, some birds are etched, some are carved a bit deeper, some are beautifully colored, and some are neutral. Same for the leaves and branches.
The potter lives in northern Mexico, where her ancestors moved when fleeing the reconquering Spaniards in the New Mexico of the late 1600’s.
They continued their pottery traditions, for use and decoration, but it wasn’t until the 197o’s that a farmer in the area found historic shards, tried to replicate them, and a whole new pottery boom developed.
The Paquime pots of the Casas Grande area are made very like their northern Pueblo cousins’.
This roly-poly olla was made of hand gathered local clay and natural clay slips, coiled, smoothed, and colored by hand; fired in the ground, burnished with a polishing stone, and incised by hand, as well.
The two main panels, on either side of the olla, have had the backgrounds scratched out to the base clay of creamy beige.
Dark red and green birds, twigs and leaves really stand out against that background.
Between these two areas, more, delicately etched birds, leaves and branches flit across a mottled, vertical maroon band.
They reveal the cream-colored base clay, in a sort of negative version of the colored designs on either side.
This brownish-red, background, dappled with black pigment, runs all the way around the pot, with the incised cream-colored birds, etc. covering the base of the pot, as well.
This delightful pot is almost unbelievably affordable, since the economy is different in northern Mexico.
A beautifully intricate and well-designed pot, it will be source of delight, pride and admiration for the lucky owner.