Sgrafitto Sunface PotSue and Tom Tapia
Sue and Tom were award-winners famous for the clarity of their etched and carved designs and the pure forms of their pieces.
Tom usually designed the pieces and did the sgrafitto work, while Sue formed the piece and did the deep carving, as seen around the middle.
Sadly, Tom passed away a few years ago, so this collaboration is no more, although Sue continues to make lovely pots.
This gorgeous piece of pottery is almost totally perfect in every way: form, design, skill of execution, totally traditional mode of creation.
The clay was hand-gathered and -coiled. The surface was stone-polished, the piece was pit-fired, and the design etched – all by hand, as is traditional.
The black surface was achieved through natural, permanent carbonization. During the pit-firing, the flames were smothered by powdered, dried horse or sheep manure.
Notice that the ring in the center is not polished, while the rest of the designs are.
The clear, graphic quality of the traditional design motifs is characteristic. (The red clay background is terra cotta-colored, not orange as it may appear on your monitor.)
With the drama of red clay and black, stone-polished surfaces, this elegant vase resembles the classical Greek pottery of ancient times.
Not merely beautiful to see, this pieces is chock-full of good luck symbols: Sunface, feathers, which mean prayers, Avanyu the water serpent, below the center, stepped rain symbols, and even a bear paw for protection.
Nature is balanced, and all is well with the world.
And all will be well in your world, each time you gaze on this extraordinary pot. It’s a 10!