Vintage Nicaraguan Geometric Art Pottery Bowl by Victor Barrios
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The village of San Juan de Oriente in Nicaragua is home to a revival of pottery making that began in the 1970's. The now-renowned potters include Victor Manuel Cano Barrios, who made this spectacular sculptural art pottery bowl. Born in 1969, Victor Barrios began experimenting with clay when he was 15; by the age of 18, he was displaying his wares in fairs in various towns and in national competitions, with pre-Columbian designs his specialty. We've included a photo of Victor with his family. Although various family members and assistants work for Victor and he has them sign their wares, this piece was made by him and signed on the bottom "Nicaragua Victor Barrios."
Victor works in terracotta clay, using a potter's wheel to form his pieces. The colors are made from minerals and ground rocks and are polished with fruit seeds in the traditional method. One of the five major styles of San Juan de Oriente pottery, geometric designs like these are done by painting, incising or etching the surface of the pottery with repeated lines. Pre-Columbian ancient pottery found in the area was decorated with these geometric motifs, but modern potters there are also influenced by modern art. The resulting pottery is often a blend of ancient and modern.
Both the shape and the designs on this round, flattened bowl are geometric. There are two patterns that wrap around the central curved opening. On a base color that is a mottled blend of umber and dark brown, the designs are composed of tiny concentric painted white lines on one side and a maze of incised (sgraffitoed) golden yellow outlines filled with scrolls on the other. Weighing 2 1/2 pounds, the bowl is 9 inches by 9 inches and about 4 inches high. In excellent condition, with no cracks, chips or color loss, this is a beautiful piece of Nicaraguan art pottery by a talented artist.
>>>As always, any white spots are the results of light reflections only.