A characteristic piece by this noted Hopi potter, whose skill in carving out layers of clay, and texturing and coloring the complex designs, has been recognized with ribbons from every major Indian art show – and reference books as well.
His recognizable style bridges traditional and contemporary techniques and effects.
His work illustrates themes of Hopi life with realism, ancient symbols, and wonderful detail.
He used a variety of techniques on this pot: carving, sgrafitto (lightly etching), and painting with both natural clay slips and vivid colors, mostly natural.
This lively pot is decorative ,as well as ceremonially accurate.
On one side, you see a lovely, mellow Sunface, partially obscured by a black-bearded kachina, the Longhair, or Rain-Bringer.
This colorful design seems almost three-dimensional, and symbolizes the ideal balance of sun and rain which will result in a bountiful harvest.
Look at the intricate designs that represent embroidery on the kachina’s belt, and the pastel rainbow of colors in the sun’s rays, around the pale aqua face.
On the other side, a large hand holds an eagle feather, symbol of prayers.
Whether this is a human hand, praying for that balance of Nature, or a heavenly hand, receiving the prayer, is up to you, the viewer.
The third design is an irregularly shaped black band that undulates around the hand. Numerous petroglyph figures and symbols of fertility, water, winds and clouds, and a little cornstalk, fill that space, emphasizing the theme of the piece.
With carving, meticulous painting and detail, the effect of this seed pot is as characteristically rich as the artist’s larger pieces.