Artist Media Series
This is a creative bowl by Richard Zane Smith. The bowl is coil-built with the coils left exposed on the exterior. The coils are then incised to create the designs and various colors of clay are added. This piece is entitled, “Alex Whiteplume’s field of industrial hemp torched by Federal Agents”. Over the years, Richard has made important pieces with social commentary, including this piece. The bowl has flame designs around the top of the shoulder The remainder is corrugated with alternating designs on each row. The rim is polished to resemble leather. The piece has a handle that he braided with leather. Note the complexity of the colors and the subtlety of the clay colors across the piece. Richard’s ability to have such soft gradations of colors is extraordinary! All the colors were applied before the piece was fired. It is signed, “Richard Zane Smith” and dated 2000. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.
“The 1980s was a period of encouraged experimentation where an artist could work with one foot in traditional ways and traditional roots and the other out there probing into the future. A fascinating era of arts rooted in tradition but also expanding all over. When there seemed to be some interest I thought I’d start by keeping close to the old pueblo style of corrugated pottery. I started doing some imitation work but inevitably kept adding my own thing. In the beginning, they were just the clay color and I was doing design indention with my fingernail. Then I thought I would add another clay color, so I started adding slip and painting certain areas. Then, why not two clay colors? It wasn’t long and I started seeing that I could develop 3-D patterns. I could mix my slips in graduating shades. Once that happened it opened the door, and everything was 3-D. First, they were geometric, and then it was curvy geometric shapes which became a signature for years.” Richard Zane Smith, Spoken Through Clay