Lonewolf, Joseph – “Hummingbirds” Seedpot (1988)
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. This seedpot is from 1988. Joseph wrote of this piece:
“Representing the Mimbres Period of the 10th to the 14th centuries, is a male quail about to fall prey to a nearby fox. Alerted to the danger the quail moves quickly to the brush growing in its natural habitat.
Encircling the base of the seedpot is Mother Earth [the red clay slip] with several quail tracks…To the left of the tracks is a bear print. Perhaps the frightened quail, aware of the bear’s presence, sought refuge in the bear’s range of territory. To the left is the 1988 yearly symbol of a “bear paw” representing strength and good medicine. The tiny butterfly, also atop Mother Earth represents beauty in life”.
The style of this seepdot is similar to a series he made throughout 1988. The have a combination of cartoon and Mimbres style, with the fox having more of a “cartoon” appearance. What makes that interesting is that Joseph was a big fan of cartoons and loved to watch them. It’s great to see that he found a way to design some pieces that are almost a reflection of his love for the style. All the additional colors are natural clay slips. The precision of the designs and the shine of the polished surface create a perfect balance. This piece is in perfect condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.