Ida Redbird is one of the best known of the potters involved in the revival of Maricopa pottery from 1937-40. She was featured in Arizona Highways in 1948. Her pottery is made using and paddle-and-anvil technique and they are twice fired. The black designs are derived from a mixture of mesquite sap and cactus spines. This bowl is a round shape with a polished exterior and matte interior. The design is a cloud and wind pattern which encircles the rim of the piece. It is signed, “Ida Redbird” on the bottom. The signature indicates it was made during the period of pottery revival by Ida Redbird and Elizabeth Hart. There is also a piece of tape with the previous owners name on the bottom.
The Maricopa Reservation is located on the Salt River and Gila River region just outside Phoenix, Arizona. There are very few Maricopa Indians remaining, and almost no potters among them.
Pottery making by the Maricopa was essentially non-existent at the turn of the 20th century, but with the diligence of Elizabeth Hart of the United States Indian Service Home Extension Department, there was a revival, not only in production but also in quality of workmanship. The pottery of that period was of a low quality – a result of demand for souvenir pots by tourists. Elizabeth Hart encouraged Ida Redbird, who was the best potter of the time, to lead other women to improve the quality and design of Maricopa pottery. Thus their pottery became thin walled and symmetrical in shape –ultimately increasing the price.
It was at this time, with the creation of new and improved pottery, the artists began signing their pots. Up until roughly 1936, no signatures or hallmarks were used on Maricopa pottery. After 1937, artists began signing their pottery for individual recognition and credit.
Condition: Good- original condition. there are a few chips along rim. These in no way effect the stability of the piece.
Provenance: Acquired from a private collector whose name is taped on the bottom of the piece.