Lonewolf, Joseph – Large Seedpot with Mimbres Big Horn Sheep and Feathers (1976)
This is a striking large seedpot by Joseph Lonewolf. The piece was made in 1976 and it is fully polished to a high red shine. The central design is a large Mimbres Big Horn Sheep. Note to the right of the sheep is a large track. Below the sheep is a circular sun design. Spiraling around the seedpot is a feather pattern that swirls around the piece. There are contrasting areas of red polished and red matte. Amazingly, the red matte areas are where he would etch away just the polished surface of the clay, but not deep enough to reach the tan clay coloration underneath. Imagine how precise you have to be when cutting away to get this as a uniform coloration on a curved surface! It is a striking and larger piece of his pottery. The seedpot is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Joseph Lonewolf”. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair.
“It gives me a funny feeling when people tell me I’ve done something brand new and different. I’ve just figured out all over again what potters did centuries ago. But it is NOT new as people like to say it is. Such colors were achieved in pre-history times by my ancestors. I regard the Mimbres as my ancestors. Though I refine their designs, each design must have meaning for me. In my dreams I see how to use the design, how to make the pot happen. Then when I work the clay, everything flows. Some people wonder why I keep changing styles, colors, forms. But I can’t just sit there and make pots. Like any artist I must try different things, different techniques. I must meet the challenge with my hands. The patterns and the methods I see in my mind during my dreams.”
—JOSEPH LONEWOLF, Spoken Through Clay