Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ancient Drinking Bowl

This PCAGOE Challenge is a southwestern-native theme. At first I had no real idea what that meant. I had vague visions of turquoise and pinks but nothing that I could really use in a piece. I did some research with the guiding from my fellow PCAGOE members and stopped on this photo of an antique drinking vessel.
It was a bone that had been dug out to hold water. That started the idea of my own 'drinking bowl'. I chose translucent clay for the placking that happens. Usually you try to eliminate that with various techniques but this time I wanted it to happen. I then carved a stylized eagle and added it to the bottom of the bowl. The natives would use a piece of bone that had a sort of handle on it, something to hold with your hand while you scooped out the water. I incorporated that feature in the initial design and baking. I added a second layer to make it sturdier and rebaked it.

Using crackle and Lumiere paints I painted the eagle and the swirls and letters. I added little flecks of paint on the inside of the bowl as well. The piece turned out quite well. It has an 'ancient' feel to it. I envision it in a museum gift shop, something to remember all the treasures you just saw inside the museum.
As in all challenges I learn something and this one is no different. I learned that the southwest native art is not all about the color turquoise and pink. I got a bit of a history lesson in the tools they made and used to survive. I learned that their Art was symbolic of the world that surrounded them and I added that to this piece as much as I could. If you look inside the eagle's belly, she is carrying 7 eggs of what will be future blessings. Like them I like to add hope to my Art. I know that those future blessings will make me smile when I look at them later.


  1. How wonderful, it does look like an ancient relic! I love your eagle and decorative additions and really enjoyed the explanation of your symbolism... love the idea of future blessings!

  2. Thank you Beth! I've been getting lots of compliments on this one. I found it very zen to make the eagle and the decorations.