The youngest son of the well-known potter Sue Tapia, his heritage is from Laguna Pueblo. He learned from his mother, primarily.
His grandmother, Josephine Valencia, was Juanita Fragua’s sister. So, he comes from an extended family of established potters.
This black on white olla is traditional in every way: the pure white base clay is native to the Laguna/Acoma area, and was hand-gathered, mixed, coiled, and smoothed.
The black designs are a natural vegetal paint, and done without a pattern; just eye to hand.
The design is also traditional and resembles lightning, which is associated with rainfall.
Water is rare, and precious, to the dry farmers of Laguna, so the design conveys very good luck.
Beautifully formed, large enough to make an impression, but manageable enough to display in a variety of places, this is a wonderfully made, classic olla.