Artist Media Series
Rondina Huma has certainly been one of the most influential Hopi potters working today. Since her two-time “Best of Show” awards at Santa Fe Indian Market, her tight style and intricately painted pottery have changed the face of contemporary Hopi pottery. Each piece is coil-built, fully stone polished, painted with native clays and bee-weed (black), and native-fired. This fully painted bowl is from the early 2000s when she was painting some of her smallest and most intricate designs! Rondina said of this style of her pottery:
“This style is when I first started designing from the bottom to the top. I would get a bunch of sherds and I would put them together and see what pattern they created. Then I would take back the sherds to where I found them. I also polish the inside of all my pottery. People ask how I do it and how I can get so deep inside. I just think it makes a bowl look nicer if it is fully polished. The burgundy-colored [areas] are the water migration. It’s like a spring with the water coming up out of the earth and soaking back into the ground. It’s a full cycle, so the square has to be complete. I do most of the painting freehand. When I look at a pot, I already know what design I’m going to put on there. I can visualize what I’m going to paint, and it is never the same. I don’t really use a pencil—I’m afraid it won’t come off. I try to just measure with my hand to space out the designs.” Rondina Huma, Spoken Through Clay
The bowl is very tightly painted with a variety of designs in each of the small squares. They are all derived from historic Hopi-Tewa and Sikyatki pottery. The rim of the jar has a series of feather, rain, and cloud designs tightly painted. Around the shoulder is a triangular mountain design. The bottom section has four sections of the design outlined in burgundy-colored clay. Two sections are square and two are diamond-shaped. The tight patterns have become more and more intricate and detailed in each passing year. It was only in the later work that she had both the polished red and burgundy colorations in her pottery. Did you notice the inside of the bowl, it is also fully polished! The bowl is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Rondina Huma”. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair.