Sister to both a renowned sculptor and another well-respected potter (Cliff Fragua and Glendora Daubs, respectively), Betty Jean Fragua learned pottery from her famous mother, Juanita Fragua. B.J. combines beautiful form, serene stone-polish, deep carving and meticulous painted accents in her pottery.
This extraordinarily handsome shape, with its pale burnished surface, seems to glow, as if sun-kissed. Like a river, a curved band flows rhythmically around the shoulder. The soothing palette is earth-toned; creamy gold, russet, and dark brown. The individual elements represent rain, as well as the steps of the sacred kiva, and other water and rain signs. The outer edges, the “banks”, of the gently curving river are stippled, to represent earth. The smooth, dark brown/black lines are the river itself.
Stepped rain designs in the center symbolize how the river is filled, as well as repeating the large-scale form of the rim of the piece. Everything is beautifully coordinated and executed; the free-flowing design perfectly exemplifies the watery theme and the sacredness of water. Impeccable workmanship fulfills a beautiful artistic vision, resulting in a gorgeous olla that combines precision and lyricism. A lovely piece!