A marvelous piece of pottery by a couple famed for their artistic collaboration.
The perfectly stone-polished red clay slip is impeccably etched with feather designs on two sides, and medicine man and spirit portrayals on the others.
At the very bottom of these, there is a tiny Pueblo village on one side and a bear paw – symbol of protection, strength and survival – on the other.
The designs are sized and formed to complement the shape of the piece, and perfectly matched, as can be seen in this large photo.
Notice that the lines on either side of the design facing you are exactly lined up.
Rhythmic repetition of circles of feathers creates a striking pattern, while the pictorial sides provide a quieter design.
In the center of one of the circular feather patterns, stepped symbols of rain, on the left, are paired with a mini-Sunface on the right, depicting the balance of nature that the figures are praying for.
This piece of pottery is almost totally perfect in every way: basic form, design complementarity, skill of execution, totally traditional mode of creation.
The clay was hand-gathered and -coiled; the red slip was ground, mixed, and applied by hand.
The glossy surface was stone-polished, the design etched by hand, and the piece was pit-fired.
A piece that is all of a piece, and one to be proud of.
Sadly, Tom Tapia passed away, a few years ago. So, although Sue continues to create pottery, their collaboration is at an end.