This hand-blown glass bear from Isleta artist Tony Jojola is an example of how he interprets traditional Pueblo pottery figurines through a contemporary medium.
This one-of-a-kind glass piece was inspired by the bear, an animal highly respected by Pueblo people, and often seen as a symbol of strength.
The figurine features a crystal clear hue, and demonstrates the skill in Jojola's cutting-edge work, showcasing his contributions to bott the glass art- and Native American art communities.
- Sculpture handmade by Tony Jojola (Isleta Pueblo)
- Hand-blown glass
- Clear bear
- Sculpture measures 3-1/2” high x 3-3/4” long x 2-1/8” wide
- Comes with a signed Certificate of Authenticity
Handcrafted works of Native American art require special care. For more information about proper care and cleaning, please read our Care Guide.
Tony Jojola of Isleta Pueblo is one of few Native American glass blowers. Tony is internationally known for his extraordinary glass works. He was introduced to pottery at a young age by his grandfather, who also was a silversmith and a wood carver.
He went on to study at Institute of the American Indian Arts, where he first encountered the art of glass blowing. He then went on to train at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine, and then Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle, Washington, where he served as an apprentice to the great American master of glass art, Dale Chihuly.
In 1999 Tony established the Taos Glass Workshop in Northern New Mexico, where he introduced at-risk youth to the process and art of glass blowing. Using the skills of his culture, Jojola creates hand-blown one-of-a-kind pieces that evoke the traditional and ceremonial forms that his culture has respected and used throughout time.
In 1607, Jamestown, Virginia was settled by the Virginia Company of London. Glass blowing was introduced to America through the glasshouse in Jamestown. It was thought that by establishing glass blowing in Jamestown, the company could profit from the sale of bottles, jars, and other glass-blown items. When the first glasshouse proved to be unsuccessful, a second attempt was made in 1622.
While the early glass-blowing industry at Jamestown failed to provide the profits the London company hoped for, it did open the doors to the future of glass-blown pieces throughout America in later years.
For centuries Native American artists have been creating sculptures and fetishes for sacred and ceremonial use. For the Pueblo people, these were often figurines created from stone, wood, or clay. Sculpture using material like alabaster, limestone, and marble is a relatively new art form for Native artists, first practiced in the second half of the 20th century.
In addition, a growing number of artists are creating beautiful works in glass. In creating their groundbreaking contemporary work, these artists still honor and celebrate their culture by drawing from traditional themes, forms and designs. Many of the most-noted Native American sculptors and glass artists working today have studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe.Read our Native American Sculpture and Painting Collector's Guide.
At Shumakolowa Native Arts, we guarantee that your purchase is an original and authentic work handcrafted by Native American artists as defined by the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990. We ask our artists to complete an extensive certification process, providing a CIB (Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood) card and other documentation of their Native American heritage. Our team of experts carefully inspects every product to guarantee it is handcrafted using traditional, sustainable processes, and natural materials of only the highest quality. We record the place and date of each purchase, and pride ourselves in paying a fair price that allows artists to make a living practicing their craft.
Every work of handcrafted art comes with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by an artist or buyer. At a time when many commercially made products are being sold as handcrafted Native American art, our in-depth purchase process allows us to guarantee the authenticity of every unique piece of fine art we offer. For more than 40 years, we have made it a priority to visit artists in their studio or home to purchase their latest handcrafted pieces and learn about their work. We have developed lasting relationships with artists, as well as dealers and collectors, and we take pride in being a trusted destination for fine Native American art.