Spirit Horse PitcherForrest Naranjo
Forrest comes from a well-known pottery family, including grandmother Rose Naranjo, mother, Bernice Suazo-Naranjo, sister, Dusty Naranjo., aunt Nora Naranjo-Morse, and more. They are all major award-winners.
Forrest works within the Santa Clara tradition of black pottery, but with personal tweaks: the pieces are often brown, or not entirely black; there is a fluidity of form, and of the etched designs, that are different from the others’.
The rich range of browns and blacks is achieved by manipulating the amount of dried, powdered manure used to smother the flames of the pit-firing.
Otherwise, Forrest’s work is entirely traditional in gathering and mixing the clay, coiling and smoothing the pieces, polishing with a stone, etc.
This curvaceous pitcher is perfectly sized for display, yet assertive enough to make an instant impression.
A band of horses cavorts around the piece, its varied width, and the varied size of the horses, adding to the sense of movement.
The diagonal trajectory emphasizes the lovely curves of the piece.
The gradation of color, from black at the unpolished rim, handle and interior, as well as the bottom, to rich reddish brown around the swelling center, also accentuates the graceful rotundity.
In addition to the individually portrayed horses, hands of blessing and protection are interspersed on that stippled, red band.
A Kokopelli-like figure is mounted on one of the largest horses, and the spiral signifying the river of life is frequently noticed, as well.
On one side of the base of the neck, you can see a teepee and wolf-like animal, just above the ribboning band.
The prevailing design seems to be an ode to the horse.
As in all Forrest’s pieces, the stone-polish is superb, as is the sinuous form, and the details of the sgrafitto decoration.
A beautiful, graceful piece by a major pottery artist.
PS NEVER put water in this! Dried or fabric foliage, only.