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Margaret & Luther Gutierrez


4-1/4w x 4-1/2h






Ebay - Santa Barbara, CA


This piece came from an estate sale of a married couple who grew up in Redlands, CA.  They traveled many places after their children were into college, but had a great love for the Southwest.  This led them into acquiring many collections of Southwest pottery, rugs, jewelry and paintings.  The wife had a special affection for owls and this piece was picked up during one of their trips in the late 60's and early 70's.  The auction was held by the couple's son and daughter.

This owl seems to have a strangely lazy eye, but if you have seen owls roosting during the day, you'll know how vigilant they are while resting.  Always watchful, the owl is known to be a guardian spirit.  Having its two offspring on the shoulders makes this owl effigy a "Storyteller".  The Avanyu on the belly is in the classic Margaret and Luther style.




Margaret and Luther, brother and sister, began working together in the 1960s. Luther, 25 years older than his sister, passed away in 1987. Margaret is still potting, using the same styles they developed together, and those they inherited from their family. Having a genuine piece made by the team of Margaret and Luther means it has come from an older collection. These pieces are becoming a rarity and a prize possession for collectors. When the team made bowls (as below), jars, or wedding vases, their designs centered around the Avonyu water serpent, spiders, sky bands, rain, clouds and lightning, in polychrome. When Margaret and Luther started working together, they started making polychrome caricatures of animals. Completely original, they "invented" this style, and used the same slip and pigments as those on their larger pieces.