Kim Obrzut

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Butterfly World

by Kim Obrzut

Size: 12" diameter
Medium: Bronze
Edition Size: 75

Butterflies are one of the oldest known surviving creatures to exist in our world. On Hopi prehistoric pottery the butterfly is one of the most prominent images probably because they represent positive symbols of water. Many butterfly’s signify rain and abundant crops. There are many localities in the Southwest where we find pictographs of butterflies, moths, and dragonflies. Perhaps it was the simple magic of flight that fascinated the ancient ones and is why butterfly and bird images out number all other animal motifs on pottery decoration.

First Mesa is famously known for their intricate and fine ancestral style pottery although at one time pottery making was almost lost when outside influence introduced the cast iron pan.

Contemporary Hopi pottery is now mostly influenced by the revival of the ancient Sikyatki (yellow house) tradition that became popular in the late 1800’s. It involves a low wide shouldered flat top saucer shape pottery with small open mouths with the view depicted from above.

Here the image is portrayed in quadrants representing the four cardinal directions with male and female (males having the larger circles on their wings) butterfly images accompanied by geometric clouds coming from the different directions so as to nurture the plants with a promise of rain. This depiction alludes to the Spring migration and the budding of fruit, and flowers for the tiny ancient creatures are pollen eaters and sacred symbols of fertility and rebirth.

Price: $3800
Santa Fe Phone: 505-983-1050