Small Sgrafitto Bird Olla
She is surrounded by a constellation of pottery stars in her family.
Among her mentors and influences are, or have been, her mother, Bernice, grandmother, Rose Naranjo, sister, Carolyn Elliott, aunts Dolly Naranjo, Nora Naranjo-Morse, Tessie Naranjo, Jody Folwell, and cousins Jonathan Naranjo, Roxanne Swentzel, and Susan Folwell!
Naturally, Dusty also produces gorgeous, traditional pottery, and adds to the family collection of awards.
This little olla is typical of her beautifully formed, and decorated work, in a small size, very easy to display.
Entirely made according to tradition: hand-gathered clay, hand-mixed, -coiled, -stone polished, -incised, and fired in the ground.
Aside from the red clay slip, the luscious, dark brown hue, seen on the lower part of the piece, is a family tradition.
That all-over pattern of lightly incised, squiggly lines is a Dusty specialty.
A broad band of angular spirals winds around the top of the slightly flattened form, following up to the unusual raised lip.
Not simply incised, this band reveals the beige hue of the base clay, the faintly glittering red of micaceous clay slip, and the stone-polished, glossy dark brown top layer.
The angular pattern refers to storm clouds, portending rain to come.
A serious, plump bird overlays part of the band – anther virtuoso bit of carving and manipulating the layers of clay slips.
On the opposite side of the pot, there are two lovely, delicately incised, dragonflies, so there is something to admire from every angle.
Birds help to propagate plants, and dragonflies live on, and near, water. So, there is very good luck all over this pot.
Elegantly shaped, and precisely etched, this is little piece was made with consummate skill, and fine artistry, by a stellar artist.