Small Tri-Color Olla
One of a family line-up of pottery award-winners, Marilyn Lewis Ray is especially known for her winsome figural pieces.
However, like her sisters Judy Lewis, Diane Lewis, Carolyn Concho and Rebecca Lucario, she can create beautifully formed and decorated traditional ollas, as well.
Here we have a little gem that is as graphic and assertive in appearance as its large relatives.
Traditionally made, of course, with hand-gathered, pure white clay of the Acoma area, it is coiled, smoothed, and painted by hand as well.
The brick red is a red clay slip; the black comes from steeping wild spinach plants.
These saturated colors are dramatic, against the burnished white clay background.
The design consists of rain signs – the parallel lines seen around the rim and the hip of the piece – stylized clouds, and plant motifs.
All signify good luck, since rain is precious in the desert, and produces flourishing crops.
The form is classic, the design is a personal interpretation of traditional motifs, and the result is striking.
Notice how the design emphasizes the form of the pot – that is optimal.
Great little olla by a greatly admired potter.