We are happy to welcome another fabulous storyteller artist from Jemez Pueblo.
Carol is linked to two prominent pottery families, and is noted for fine precision, and the pretty faces of her figures.
This wonderful group is an entire family: mother, father, and five children. The idea of a pair of storytellers is novel, and delightful, especially as they are parents.
Each figure was individually fashioned from clay that was gathered, mixed, coiled, formed, pit-fired, and painted by hand.
And, both formed and painted with exquisite clarity and detail, which are characteristics of this fine potter.
.Mama and Papa are enveloped in one, beautifully striped and decorated blanket, and Papa’s arm is around his spouse’s shoulder.
The broad stripes are painted with a variety of clay slips, ranging from cream to dark russet, to brown.
Decorations include rain signs, raindrops, wind and rain clouds, and crosses that represent the four corners of the earth.
Their vocal praise for rain is meant to extend throughout the world.
Each of the parents wears a traditional necklace of turquoise; Papa’s with a shell pendant.
Both necklaces are sculpted from clay and are three-dimensional.
Mama also wears a silver and turquoise pin that is painted, as are all the turquoise rings, and the children’s turquoise accents.
Both parents wear their hair in the traditional “chongo”. Mama’s is tied by a sash with flowing ends.
Papa’s bun is held with the same, plain fabric that forms his headband, and the headband of the oldest boy.
The two girls wear their hair in a long braid, while the younger boy and the baby have short hair.
The figures’ clothing is both traditional and meticulously depicted.
Both parents wear embroidered sashes; Mother’s holds up a long, pleated black skirt.
The older daughter wears a similar blouse, sash and long skirt, decorated at the hemline.
She, and her two brothers, wear moccasins. The hair and clothing seem to suggest aNavajo family.
The boys wear special-occasion ribbon shirts, decorated along the sleeves, as are the girls’ blouses.
Each figure is holding or doing something: Big Sister is holding a decorated plate, Big Brother is ready to drum.
Little Brother wears a folded and decorated blanket over his shoulder, while Little Sister holds a book.
Mama carries Baby, wrapped in his own blanket, in a traditional cradleboard.
The baby seems to be sucking his fingers. This is realism!
Father, as we saw, holds one arm around his spouse’s shoulder, and the other protectively hovers over his older son.
The naturalistic proportions and postures, attractive faces, and the wealth of crisp, meticulous detail, add up to a masterful example of storyteller art.
Each time you look, more details emerge, all of them delightful, beautiful, and impressive in concept and execution.