Photo by Maida Branch and Johnny Ortiz
◄ Overview

Plate 1

Johnny Ortiz
Plate 1, 2021
Micaceous earth from Northern New Mexico, sanded with local sandstone, burnished with a river stone, pit fired with red cedar during the February 2021 Snow Moon and cured with elk marrow and beeswax
10.25 in diameter x .5 in height

Artist and chef Johnny Ortiz digs deep in his work — literally. His primary ceramic material is micaceous “wild clay,” harvested in his home state of New Mexico. The micaceous clay he uses is from the same terrain his ancestors, Taos pueblo, have dug for hundreds if not thousands of years. When he first re-discovered this resource, his first instinct was to leave it in the ground: it seemed, he says, “too stunning to do anything with.” But he gradually came to grips with it, seeing in the clay a means of connecting to his own ancestral past, as well as to present-day aesthetic possibilities. He makes the material his own through an elaborate series of procedures, first sanding the pots with rough sandstone and then burnishing with smoother river stone, pit firing them with red mountain cedar he gathered from the mountains he inhabits, and finally, “curing” them with elk marrow and beeswax. This presentation at The Gerald Luss House, undertaken on the heels of Ortiz’s stint as a guest chef in the nearby Stone Barns Center and Blue Hill residency program, includes vessels fired during the 2021 Snow Moon.

This work is no longer available for sale. Please be in touch with Object & Thing for further information.

Add to Wishlist


Image credit:
Photo by Maida Branch and Johnny Ortiz
Close Icon
Photo by Maida Branch and Johnny Ortiz