A gorgeous variation on a classic design from Martin Olivas Quintana that just never goes out of style! This iguana lizard pot is done on a mostly white natural clay color, except for the intricate bands of black and red geometric designs on all sides of the pot. We love the beautiful eye catching appeal of this piece! Simply stunning! I love the modern deeply carved area on the pot, as well as the carved out and painted lizard design. Even with the deep carved out areas of the design, this pot is surprisingly light weight - the ultimate sign of quality in a Mata Ortiz pot! And the sculpted lip is the perfect touch!
Martin Olivas Quintana is a rising star among the second generation potters of Mata Ortiz. He has won several awards for his work at the annual pottery competitions, and is the nephew of master potter Jorge Quintana. You can see the family resemblance in much of the Quintana Family's work, with consistently high quality sgraffito work. Sgraffito is the carving or scratching of designs into the pottery. Martin Olivas Quintana truly excels at this pottery technique, and we love his designs. Martin is one of our favorite artists. This iguana lizard pot is a great size for easy display, and done to museum quality. There is just so much fine detail in this piece! We just love his work! The pot is signed by the artist, and a pottery display ring will be included at no extra charge.
Hand made without even the use of a potter’s wheel! Done in the traditional style of Mata Ortiz, with hand forming the piece out of clay that has been dug from the local countryside. The clay is sifted to remove the impurities, making the clay pliable and easier to work with than the standard clay that we find in art supply shops in the US. The artist starts with a flat pancake of clay, then adds a single coil of clay. The artist pinches the walls upward to form the pot, while scooping out the clay from within, and thinning the walls from the outside at the same time. Larger pieces will include a second coil added at the top. Mata Ortiz pottery is known for how thin walled and light weight it is, which makes it quite difficult to hand build without collapsing along the way. The piece will then dry for several days, before sanding the walls to get the walls. The surface of the pot is protected with a thin layer of oil, before hand polishing the surface with an agate stone. Then the piece is painted with natural paint using a home made brush crafted of long strands of human hair. A low temperature firing is the last step. Although there are some electric kilns in town these days, traditionally the pottery is fired on the ground using local wood similar to cottonwood. If it is a colored pot, the firing area is elevated on bricks to allow air to circulate during the firing, the pot is placed on a tripod or grate, covered with a clay or metal vessel, wood is stacked around the outer vessel and then ignited. Once the wood burns down, then the firing has been completed. If a black pot was desired, then sawdust or cow dung would be spread on the ground inside of the outer vessel and dirt would be used to seal the edges of the outer vessel, so that oxygen does not flow into the firing. Any actual color of clay could be used, and the pot would still turn black. The artist wanted the colors to remain on this piece, so oxygen was allowed to flow during the firing. One in every four or five pots break in a traditional firing.
Approximate Measurements: 5 1/2" high x 4 1/4" wide (14" circumference at widest point)