Red Water Serpent Olla

Martha Appleleaf


Red, stone-polished bowl with Avanyu around the shoulder. Natural clay; natural clay slip, coiled and pit-fired.

SKU: a102142 Categories: , Tags: ,


She belongs to the artistic elite of San Ildefonso pottery-makers.

Martha’s great-aunt was the world-famous Maria Martinez, who rediscovered the technique of traditional San Ildefonso black pottery, over a century ago.

Her mother was the prominent potter Carmelita Dunlap, and Martha has established her own exceptional reputation for fine pottery.

She is celebrated for the brilliant polish of her work, and the traditional designs associated with her family.

Both these characteristics are evident in this satiny olla with a traditional design.

There is a wonderful balance between matte and polished areas, in the decorative Avanyu (Water Serpent) that curls around the shoulder of the piece.

The plain, gleaming bands above and below it accentuate the wonderful form of the pot, and rest the eye between the decorated areas.

There is nowhere to hide any little flaw, when working in red pottery, and there isn’t any – everything is as perfect as the stone polish.

The form, the design, and the techniques used in creating this lustrous piece, are as traditional as those used by her revered great-aunt, Maria.

Rich in history and tradition – and more importantly, superb in design and execution – this is a noteworthy piece by a celebrated artist.

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