Lonewolf, Joseph – “Flute Player” Silver Casting, 2/60 (1980)
Beginning in the early 1970’s, Joseph Lonewolf revolutionized the world of Santa Clara pottery by incorporating his sgraffito (lightly etching the surface of the clay) and incised (more deeply cut into the clay) designs. He was the first potter to begin making bronzes of his work in 1974. This piece is from 1980 and it is the last of his castings and it is from silver. It is the flute player which is often seen in his pottery. Joseph said of the flute player in his work:
“The flute player lifts his flute and calls the creatures. Encircled by the musical story coming from his flute, the flute player, symbolic of leadership, tells the animals to come forth”.
Lonewolf said of this bronze:
“Lonewolf captured the musculature of the flute player in the composition of his miniature sculpture. The well-developed muscles of the flute player – symbolic of leadership – portrays an image of a strong leader. A long-time symbol of Pueblo Indians, the flute player is very special to Lonewolf because he blesses all creates in life. Birds, fish reptiles, insects, even people. Lonewolf, who admires all creates of life and respects the clay from Mother Earth – a ‘living thing’ that provides food, plants, and animals – positioned the flute player standing on top of the world, the earth and its inhabitants, collectively, bestowing a musical blessing upon all living things.”
Interestingly, the piece was cast in “brown patina, silicon bronze, sterling silver, and white bronze. This piece is the sterling silver version. I’m not sure if there was a number of each in the edition of 60 or 60 of each type. The detail on the headdress and the body of the figure is exceptional. The piece is dated and the number is 2/60. It is in excellent condition.