Huma, Rondina – Small Bowl with Shards and Wave Designs (1981)
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 has changed the face of contemporary Hopi pottery. Each piece is coil built, fully stone polished and painted with native clays and bee-weed (black), and native fired. This is a classic small bowl from 1981. The top is painted with a swirling wave design. Around the sides are small shards and mountain designs. It is an early piece of her “shard” style and reflection the tight painting of her pottery but also the evolution of her creative style. It is signed on the bottom, “Rondina Huma”. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. While she no longer makes pottery, her work is iconic in Hopi-Tewa pottery.
Rondina said 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