This remarkable pitcher was handcrafted by celebrated Ohkay Owingeh artist Clarence Cruz using traditional micaceous clay and firing methods. It is reminiscent of the pitchers used in the pueblos from 900 years ago. Before the days of the railroad in New Mexico, there were no handles on pottery pieces. Handles became a new utilitarian design that arrived with the railroads and tourists. Many of the northern pueblos traded amongst each other and shared pottery designs. Hence, pitchers resembled bowls instead of the handled pieces of today’s pottery.
This beautiful micaceous pitcher can be used for cooking or as an elegant addition to your fine art collection. This is a striking example of an ancient art form from an artist who is deeply rooted to his culture and is actively teaching the next generation of potters.
Micaceous cookware, handcrafted from naturally occurring mica clay, is oven safe and extraordinarily durable. Micaceous clay, found wherever there are volcanoes, is smooth, with the consistency of whipped honey butter. Traditionally used by Native American potters for centuries, it’s an ideal material for bean and casserole pots, pans, serving bowls, plates, mugs and other items that you will always treasure. The mica in the clay gives a sweet, earthy yet salty flavor all its own. (To use in the oven or on the stovetop, you must seal the pottery before using.)
Clarence Cruz is one of the few potters working at Ohkay Owingeh today, and by far the most celebrated. He signs his pieces Khuu Khaayay. He teaches ceramics at the University of New Mexico and at the Poeh Center in Pojoaque. To understand the importance and quality of his pottery, the Pueblo’s Governor uses Clarence Cruz’s bowls and plates for ceremonial dinners.
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