Earlier this year after a trip out west I commented on a pueblo we stopped at, which feature these small quails with beautiful and intricate symbols, which told a story in the Acoma culture.
Many of the natives were selling these quails, and I almost bought one, but snubbed when the price was told. I came home and regretted my decision, but after today, I wonder if maybe I DID perhaps make a good choice after all.
I have been trying to find a good white slip that will adhere to red earthenware without cracking away, but have been having no such luck, so I shot New Mexico Clay an e-mail asking if they had any suggestions seeing that their raw materials were some I was trying to replicate. Well, while browsing their site I came across some Duncan molds, and lo and behold I found this.
It's a ceramic quail mold, which looked very similar to those that the pueblo were selling. I will say, it took plenty of time for the locals to paint on their designs and patterns, but it REALLY got me thinking about the authenticity of hand building. I would have rather paid a fortune for something that was hand-built by their culture than something that was pre-casted. I was a bit disheartened in my finding today.
It taught me a good lesson for when I travel back out west this spring or summer...STUDY and get your facts straight. Buy from well known families in native american pottery and Buy from who you know is authentic, and those who show great artistic skill, and leave the mediocre for the tourists.
Carolyn Concho will still remain my favorite. I treasure my shard necklace I bought from her, and she was even cordial enough to explain the meaning behind it for me. Perhaps someday I can have one of her gorgeous pots, which modernize the traditional acoma pottery. Concho is a direct descendant from the famous Lucy Lewis.