Harding Black Tile Mexican Agave Harvester
A colorful hand made tile by Harding Black (1912-2004) of a man in a desert landscape and a large agave plant. Agave is used to make tequila. Measures 5 3/4" square. Signed Harding Black and dated 1946 on the back under an old piece of felt. Very good condition, minor surface rub and a small flake on the bottom border.
Harding Black was born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1912. Black had no formal training, but learnt wheel-throwing from fellow American potter Rudi Staffel in 1933. Inspired by Native American pottery, be began hand-building earthenware in early 1932 and developed a distinguished career that spanned more than six decades.
In 1933 he was appointed ceramics instructor at the Witte Museum Archaeological Society, where he established a ceramics department. In the 1940s he became inspired by Bernard Leach's A Potter's Book and oriental pottery and worked with glazes formulated by Arthur Baggs and Edgar Littlefield.
Black established his own studio in San Antonio, Texas in the 1950s. His earliest work was coil-built. Later works were wheel-thrown, slip-cast or press molded. Black has become known as a glaze master after many years of research. He retired from pottery in the late 1990s.