Elizabeth Medina Traditional Zia Butterfly Jar

Item No: 35434

$ 798.00

  • This truly breathtaking clay pot by Elizabeth and Marcellus Medina showcases their talent as master potters of Zia Pueblo. This exquisite piece comes to life using traditional methods of gathering and processing natural clay, vegetal and mineral paints, and through traditional firing methods.

    The Medinas work in the traditional Zia style, adding a contemporary edge through the detailed paintwork which shares the cultural heritage of the couple.

    Highly detailed representations of butterfly and roadrunner are painted alongside elements of nature. This expertly crafted bowl is a timeless work of fine art from Zia Pueblo’s premier potters.
    • Bowl handmade by Elizabeth and Marcellus (Zia Pueblo)
    • Natural clay with all-natural vegetal and mineral slip
    • Crafted through traditional horizontal coil method
    • Roadrunner, butterfly, and nature designs
    • Pot measures 7” high x 6” long x 5-1/2” 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.

  • Elizabeth and Marcellus Medina are widely considered the most skilled potters working in Zia Pueblo today. Originally from Jemez, Elizabeth has lived in Zia Pueblo since 1978, and learned the art of traditional pottery-making from her mother-in-law, Sofia Medina. Marcellus (b. 1954) is a self-taught painter who works in watercolors and acrylics.

    The husband-and-wife team often collaborate to create exquisite handmade pottery known for its incredible craftsmanship, elegance of form, and finely painted designs. In their pottery collaborations, Elizabeth creates and forms the pots by hand from homemade clay, and Marcellus paints the unique, highly detailed designs onto each vessel. The Medinas have won many awards at Santa Fe Indian Market and other prestigious Native art shows.

  • 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 is pottery. 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 have distinctive pottery styles that are especially 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 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.

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