Medina, Sofia – Large Four Color Jar with Zia Birds and Rainbows (1980s)
Sofia Medina was known for her traditional style of Zia pottery. Each piece was coil built, painted with native clays, and native fired. This jar is one of her more complex designs. It is a classic Zia shape with a high shoulder and a slight neck. The jar has a double rainbow design that is polished both tan and red. Below the rainbows on each side is a large Zia bird. Separating the birds and rainbows are large sections with rain, cloud, and mountain designs (from top to bottom). Note the use of the polished red and tan areas. The jar is a striking balance of design and form. It is unusual to see their work with such complicated patterns! Did you know that Zia potters use basalt as their temper for the clay, which gives these pieces their stability but also weight? The jar is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair. It is signed on the side, “Sofia Medina”. On the bottom is the “code number” from Richard Howard, who was a well-known dealer and collector in Santa Fe through the 1980-2000s.