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Lisa Holt and Harlan Reano: Earth, Wind, and Fire

March 9th, 2016

Earth, Wind, and Fire: Pottery with a Modern Touch

Lisa Holt (Cochiti Pueblo) and Harlan Reano (Santo Domingo/Kewa Pueblo) are breathing fresh life into traditional pottery. Working together they have created a body of work that blends Cochiti methodology and older Santo Domingo designs and then expands beyond those boundaries to include contemporary references.

Lisa comes from a family of celebrated Pueblo potters, including Laurencita Herrera, Seferina Ortiz, Virgil Ortiz, and her mother, Inez Ortiz. She and her husband, Harlan, learned their craft from Lisa’s mother while still teenagers. With such a rich heritage to draw from, they quickly became skilled potters in their own right and were soon adding their personal designs to the mix. To begin with, they produced conventional Cochiti pottery-frogs, lizards, pots and jars, and an array of traditional figurines. But every generation puts its unique fingerprint on its art and Holt and Reano are no exception.

What remains at the foundation of their work is their use of all natural materials and paints. They dig their clay from the ground and process it themselves. Once it is ready to work, each piece is coil-built by hand, not thrown on a wheel. The clay is rolled into coils and built one coil on top of another until the piece is complete. Larger vessels, such as ollas, take much more time to build.

While both Lisa and Harlan make the pottery, Harlan adds the designs, which are applied onto a rare white slip with black paint made from Wild Spinach/Rocky Mountain Beeweed. Drawing inspiration from everything from ancient Native American designs to super hero figures, he spends hours sketching and developing his own unique patterns. Harlan recently collaborated with Preston Singletary on an innovative new series of Pueblo Warrior and Circus figures in blown glass.

The work of this talented, award-winning couple continues to evolve. Stop by the gallery and be delighted!


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