Internationally celebrated, Tony is one of the few Native glass artists, and possibly the only one who uses the hot-blown glass technique, exclusively.
Although he attended prestigious non-Native art schools, and worked with the great glass artist Dale Chihuly, Tony’s work always refers to his Pueblo roots.
Bears are a favorite subject. They are guardian animals, hunting fetishes, and protector figures. Their power, intelligence and survival skills have made them major totems for almost all tribes.
This wonderful bear is hand-blown – not into a mold, but freehand. His fluid shape is abstract, but the pointy muzzle and little ears, as well as the gracefully massive bulk are definitely bear-y.
Clear glass is overlaid, while hot, with light beige streaks, like the fur of a bear. Overlaid on that, is a pattern of white “jimmies”, so the bear looks as if he is standing in a snowstorm.
Therefore, the piece is an interesting mix of transparent, translucent, and opaque areas.
Bring this “snow bear” home, and he will add visual delight to his other attributes.