Bronze Pottery - Sorrel Sky's Newest Artist

By Amanda Nichols

New to Sorrel Sky, New Mexico artist Fred Ortiz creates pots and crosses that are unique in two particularly interesting ways. First of all, Fred makes small, contemporary pots that are quite heavy and shiny - due to the fact that they are made of bronze! The combination of metal, black patina and turquoise stones is very eye-catching because of the novelty of the combination. The second way in which his work is so exceptional is that not only are his bronze pots unique but as a bronze artist, he makes each piece one-of-a-kind.

If you are familiar with bronze techniques, you will know that a mold is made of an original piece in order to make duplicates. Once this mold is made, most bronze artists make multiple castings of a sculpture called an edition. Ortiz, however, makes each bronze pot or bronze cross an edition of one. When buying an Ortiz piece, you are truly buying a one-of-a-kind sculpture.

Fred uses beautiful turquoise in his designs, actually starting with a turquoise stone and builds the pot around it. After he chooses the stone, he’ll create a wax original and then cast the pot in bronze. Once cast, he polishes the piece to give it that brilliant sheen so characteristic of his work. He applies a clear coat to prevent tarnish and then uses a black patina on the background to accentuate the bronze and turquoise.

Fred's unique bronze pots and crosses are recognized worldwide for their contemporary American Indian esthetic. The smooth, organic lines of the metal have drawn attention from figures like Jimmy Carter and King Juan Carlos of Spain. Both the Clinton-Gore Inaugural Committee and the Bush-Cheney Inaugural Committee chose his designs for gifts at their inaugural events. Sorrel Sky Gallery is pleased to add our name to his lengthy list of admirers. Stop in and see our new work by Fred Ortiz.

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