Elizabeth Medina is widely considered the most skilled potter working in Zia Pueblo today, and this large handcrafted water jar is an elegant representation of a centuries-old form. Medina works in the traditional Zia style, slipping her natural clay vessels with a buff background then painting polychrome designs in red and black. The Zia bird, the signature pottery design of Zia Pueblo, is the primary design element, appearing in four representations. Medina has also painted beautiful floral, cloud and rain patterns on this natural handmade clay pot. This expertly crafted bowl is a timeless work of fine art from one of today’s finest Pueblo potters.
- Bowl handmade by Elizabeth Medina (Zia Pueblo)
- Natural clay with all-natural vegetal and mineral slip
- Crafted through traditional horizontal coil and pinch methods
- Bowl measures 14-1/2” high x 13” long with 15” wide opening
- Tradition Zia style with Zia bird and flower designs
- 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.
Elizabeth Medina is widely considered the most skilled potter working in Zia Pueblo today. Originally from Jemez, Medina has lived in Zia Pueblo since 1978 and learned the art of traditional pottery-making from her mother-in-law, Sofia Medina. Elizabeth Medina is known for making pottery in the traditional Zia style, and her pots feature incredible craftsmanship, elegance of form and exquisitely painted designs. She has won awards from the Santa Fe Indian Market, the Eight Northern Pueblos Arts & Crafts Show, the New Mexico State Fair and the Colorado Indian Market.
Zia Pueblo has a centuries-old tradition of making fine pottery. Historically, pottery was a thriving industry for this water-poor Pueblo and they were able to sustain themselves by trading their fine ceramics with Jemez, Santa Ana and San Felipe Pueblos. Zia artisans traditionally made large jars and bowls for storage that were prized by neighboring Pueblos. Zia is the only Pueblo to use red clay tempered with crushed black basalt. The traditional Zia style features a slipped white or buff background with a red base and designs painted onto the central area in black, brown or red. The Pueblo’s signature design is the Zia bird, depicted with a single large eye and forked tail feathers. Zia potters also paint deer, flowers, arches, rainbow bands and other natural imagery onto their vessels. Today, pottery remains a vital art in Zia Pueblo with many artists still creating beautiful handcrafted pots with natural clay, carrying on a celebrated legacy of pottery-making.
The most celebrated and recognized art form of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico, Pueblo pottery is known around the world for its remarkable beauty and craftsmanship. It has been made in much the same way for over a thousand years, with every step of creation completed by hand. Pueblo potters do not use a wheel but construct pots using the traditional horizontal coil method or freely forming the shape. After the pot is formed, the artist polishes the piece with a natural polishing stone, such as a river stone, then paints it with a vegetal, mineral or commercial slip. Finally, the pot is fired in an outdoor fire or kiln using manure or wood as fuel. Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, Jemez and Acoma Pueblos and the Hopi have distinctive pottery styles that are prized by collectors, but accomplished potters are working in all Pueblos. Today, Pueblo pottery is an exciting and dynamic form, with many artists pairing traditional techniques with innovative and stylized designs. Those potters who continue to create pots using traditional methods possess an extraordinary level of skill, and their pots are highly valuable works of fine art that will be enjoyed for generations to come.Read our Native American Pottery 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 35 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.