This Good Luck Messenger Bird is made from natural clay and pigment gathered in Zuni. It was formed, sanded, smoothed, slip-coated and painted by hand. The pot is signed on the bottom "CLaate, Zuni, NM and features his corn hallmark.
Carlos Laate learned to make pottery by listening and observing his grandmother Daisy Hooee and aunt Jennie Laate while they each made pottery. He first started making pottery in 1989 and through trial and error continued to improve with each new pot.
Carlos looks to ancient pots found in museums and pot sherds found while walking near his Zuni home to inspire the designs of his work. It was his grandparents who explained the meanings behind the images he found. “What they taught me was that all the designs that are on the pot are the prayers we use in our daily lives--to have a good life, to have a successful and long life.” Carlos decorates his pottery with many of the traditional forms such as rosettes, deer house, rain birds, lines, curves and geometric forms.