Universally acknowledged as one of the very best potters of any day, Joseph is a top award-winning artist who creates some of the finest traditional, polychrome works.
Departing from the imposingly large ollas for which he is noted – and from collaborating with his wife, Barbara, who usually paints his pieces – this olla is, exceptionally, his work alone.
A nice size, this piece is inspired by ages-old pieces: Joseph likes to research historical pots for ideas.
This eye-dazzling design is a stylized yucca leaf pattern in black on white; very traditional to his Acoma Pueblo.
Each part of each three-folate leaf is outlined in a russet brown natural pigment, with a visible dot of that color at each point.
This adds to the kinetic energy of the pattern, and adds richness to the palette.
The brown is derived from mixing wild spinach paint with a bit of red clay slip.
It also hints at the design for eagle feathers, the most sacred of items, since they carry prayers to the heavens.
A marvelous, thin-walled olla with a brilliant design, and something of a rarity, too. Signed Joseph Cerno