Mother of famed sculptor Cliff Fragua, and potter BlJ. Fragua, among others in her family, she was recently honored as a Local Treasure for her successful efforts to bring Jemez Pueblo pottery from crude “tourist souvenir” quality to the award-winning pieces that are produced today. Her mentoring of other potters, and work with young people, also affected this award.
Now in her eighties, the lady is still on top of her form, spry and feisty, with an acute intelligence. This lovely olla is proof of her artistry and skill.
The designs follow the curvaceous and graceful form of the pot, flowing around it as if carried by wind and water currents.
Delicately painted cornstalks are the result of water – symbolized by the stream of red that meanders around the pot, and the stepped and angular shapes above it.
This conveys very good luck, since water is a precious resource in the high desert, and corn is a symbol for well-being, happiness and prosperity.
The symbols are traditional, but the beautifully scalloped rim is the artist’s innovation. Note that there is a feather painted on either side of each scallop – they represent prayers for the blessings of water and thriving crops.
An age-old theme, executed with contemporary artistry and impeccable craftsmanship: look at those thin-walled scallops, and the undulating form! The painting is done with natural clay slips, and wild plant infusion for the black.
Totally traditional, with artistic interpretation, this elegant olla is a beautiful example of this “Treasure’s” work. Collect it now!