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Susan Folwell Santa Clara

Susan Folwell, Santa ClaraSusan Folwell

Susan Folwell is one of the exciting innovators in Pueblo pottery. Her work is native clay and inspired by traditional designs, but she is constantly experimenting with techniques and clays. She is a daughter of Jody Folwell and sister of Polly Rose Folwell. She has won numerous awards at events such as the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Heard Indian Market. She has been featured in several books, including "NDN," "Free Spirit" and others. Susan has said; "My Earliest recollection I can think of is that my mother gave me a ball of clay.  I decided I wanted to make a snake. It was a long flat tube. She said if you want people to be interested in it, it has to have some character.  I said I thought it had enough character. She said no, so she bent the tube and made it into an “S” and she pinched the nose.  I cried for like an hour, as she pinched the nose and I thought it was now a worm, she swore it was still a snake.  End the end I was thrilled because it sold for $2.  I was hooked after that."

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Folwell, Susan – “Going East” Large Tile

Susan Folwell is one of the exciting innovators in Pueblo pottery.  This jar is part of her series for, “Taos Light: Maidens to Mantas”.  The focus is on Susan re-interpreting the work of the Taos Society of Artists. This tile is inspired by the painting “Water Carriers” by Walter Ufer.  Susan says of this piece:

Tiles are always so difficult to make, but I wanted to challenge myself to do one that is exceptionally large.  In the original painting by Walter Ufer, the coloration of the blue is so intense.  I wanted to soften it so that the clay would have room to breathe. When you have a painting that is powerful, I leave the faces undefined so that it is not a “copy” but it leaves them to the imagination.  The “frame” became one of my very intricate “bejeweled” designs. I want the little squares to look like turquoise, coral, silver, and gold.

The tile is intricately etched around the edge to create a tile or mosaic appearance.  The central design is delicately painted and captures the women and the pottery.  There is a striking sense of movement and the use of the natural clay for the color of the background is perfect!  The til is signed on the front.

$ 2,400.00
Folwell, Susan – “Reclining Woman” Lidded Jar

Susan Folwell is one of the exciting innovators in Pueblo pottery.  This jar is part of her series for, “Taos Light: Maidens to Mantas”.  The focus is on Susan re-interpreting the work of the Taos Society of Artists. This jar is inspired by a painting by Victor Higgins.  Susan says of this jar:

“This painting by Higgins is a powerful piece.  I really wanted to be able to capture the “Higgins Clouds” (last image).  They are the kind of clouds which you only see in Northern New Mexico.  I put the lid on the jar with the tightly basket to create a greater sense of intimacy than it just being an open vessel.

The jar is a tall shape and the white areas are a textured white slip. The figures are painted so that the clay can be seen in the background of the piece.  Again, the texture of the clay plays an important part of the vessel. The lid is wonderful with the tightly painted basket and the handle.  The jar is signed on the bottom.

“Viewing Susan Folwell’s intricately designed pottery is like reading a book, as each piece must be turned, examined and viewed from different angles to understand the whole story.”  American Indian Art Magazine, 2005

$ 2,200.00
Folwell, Susan – “Water Carriers” Tile

Susan Folwell is one of the exciting innovators in Pueblo pottery.  This jar is part of her series for, “Taos Light: Maidens to Mantas”.  The focus is on Susan re-interpreting the work of the Taos Society of Artists. This tile is inspired by the “Water Carriers” painting by Walter Ufer.  Susan says of this piece:

My newest pieces serve as commentaries and reflections on the classic Taos Society of Artists Work. I specifically want to focus on their portrayal of Native Women.  The use of the tile format allows me to create my own “painting”.  Here I added the shelf or “bench” to the tile and made four additional pieces of pottery which are attached to the tile.  I like the idea of the painting becoming 3-D, just like a piece of pottery!

The tile has the women painted carrying water jars on their heads.  In the foreground are four small pieces of pottery which are attached to the tile.  There is a black water jar, a red and tan polished bowl, a tan polished bowl and a tiny black and white bowl.  The back of the tile is also fully designed with a textured pattern with dots.  There is almost the feeling of a shawl or cloth to the texture and coloration.  The tile is signed on the front.

$ 1,450.00
Folwell, Susan – “The Twins” Large Jar

Susan Folwell is one of the exciting innovators in Pueblo pottery.  This large jar is part of her new series for, “Peering through Taos Light”.  The focus is on Susan re-interpreting the work of the Taos Society of Artists. This jar is inspired by a Hennings painting of two twins who moved to Taos. Susan says of this piece:

 

“What attracted me to this painting was the striking look of the twins.  They were the Baumgartner brothers who relocated to Taos.  I appreciated the painting captured the essence of the time they lived.  I wanted to do a flask as the shape to accentuate the landscape.  I went a bit “free” form on the shape, but it billows behind them, like the clouds.  The back panel are flowers local to Taos and New Mexico and the painted and etched the basket on the bottom. I love how the basket seems to be both holding them and they seem to be floating out of it as well.  It’s all like a dream.”

This large jar is both painted and etched.  Note on the figures how Susan has etched away the figures to create both depth and bring out the natural color of the clay.  The “lid” for the flask is cork.  The shape, design and story all fit together perfectly on this amazing large vessel!  The last photos here are the actual painting for comparison.  The pieces are signed on the bottom.

$ 11,000.00
Folwell, Susan – “Water-Grass” Open Bowl

Susan Folwell is one of the exciting innovators in Pueblo pottery.  This jar is part of her series for, “Taos Light: Maidens to Mantas”.  The focus is on Susan re-interpreting the work of the Taos Society of Artists. This jar is inspired by the painting “Water-Grass” by Bert Phillips.  Davison Koening, the Director of the E.I. Couse Foundation in Taos, NM noted that the early paintings by many of the Taos artists were ethnographic in orientation.  As a result, the title, such as “Water-Grass”, would often simply be the name of the subject in the painting.  Susan says of this piece:

“On this piece, I had created the open bowl and then I saw the Phillips portrait of “Water-Grass”.   As with much of my recent work, I wanted to be able to honor and reflect on the women in these paintings by the Taos Artists.  This image was perfect for the shape, as it almost felt as if I was painting a cameo in a shell.  There was an unexpected intimacy in the hand-held size of the open bowl and the detail for her clothing and jewelry.  I painted the intricately etched detail on her jewlery to have it own lumininescence.  The bowl itself is like a shell that could be held.  The back is textured and painted to look like a turtle shell.   I put her name, “Water-Grass” on the front to honor her and the endurance of Native women.”

The open bowl is painted in the center with the portrait of “Water-Grass”.  Scan in close and you can see how Susan has incised the hair and necklace, so there is an intricacy in the technique and design which is unexpected. The space around the figure reveals the coloration of the clay.  The back is almost the “surprise” as it is highly textured and the coloration is to have the feel of a turtle shell.  It is signed on the back.

$ 1,500.00
Folwell, Susan – “Hennings at Sunset in the Snow” Jar

Susan Folwell is one of the exciting innovators in Pueblo pottery.  This jar is part of her series for, “Peering through Taos Light”.  The focus is on Susan re-interpreting the work of the Taos Society of Artists. This jar is inspired by the painting “Passing By” by Ernest Hennings.  Susan says of this piece,

“In the painting, it is a scene with the two women walking down the lane. When I was working on this jar in Taos, it was the first snow of the season.  I deiced to make it a snow scene instead of an autumn scene.

The color of the jar is the key to this piece.  It captures the mood of the sky after a snow and at sunset.  The piece is mostly matte, with a single band of the Folwell family “x’s” etched into the clay.  The figures are painted but note the use etching around the plants, which gives them just a slight sense of relief.   Sometimes less is more and the strength of the design is powerful enough for the jar.  The jar is signed on the bottom.

$ 4,400.00
Folwell, Susan – “Corn Maidens” Jar

Susan Folwell is one of the exciting innovators in Pueblo pottery.  This jar is part of her continuing series for, “Peering through Taos Light”.  The focus is on Susan re-interpreting the work of the Taos Society of Artists. This jar is inspired by painting by Bert Phillips.  The jar features Taos Pueblo women with baskets of corn.  The designs are painted and etched into the clay.  The rim of the jar has been wet so that it has a “crackled” appearance. Susan said she wanted it to have a utilitarian feel, much like the baskets the women are holding.  The figures are each intricately painted and etched.  The original Phillips painting is the last image.  The jar is signed on the bottom.

$ 3,600.00
Folwell, Susan – “Feast Day” Long Neck Jar

Susan Folwell is one of the exciting innovators in Pueblo pottery.  This jar is part of her series for, “Taos Light”.  This jar combines her love of Pop-Art with Pueblo imagery. Here there are two young women wearing tablitas on their heads for Feast Day  The area behind them has been left the natural color of the clay.  The shoulder of the jar has been indented, almost reminding one of the bread made during Feast Day in the horno ovens.  However, it is the base of the jar which is dynamic.  Susan has etched and carved into the clay with a series of rows which she has then painted to have the appearance of a stone mosaic!  Each band is a different size, as is each of the various squares and rectangles. The imagery here is evocative not only of the hei-shi beads and jewelry worn during Feast Day, but also the beauty of the stones and how when set in this manner almost seem to replicate the horizon.  The jar is signed on the bottom.

“Susan has been experimenting with textured surfaces, creating a “bejeweled” effect that looks like turquoise, coral, silver, and gold.”  “Taos Light”.
Native Art Magazine, April 2018

$ 2,600.00
Folwell, Susan – “Bread Bakers” Large Jar

Susan Folwell is one of the exciting innovators in Pueblo pottery.  This jar is part of her series for, “Taos Light: Maidens to Mantas”.  The focus is on Susan re-interpreting the work of the Taos Society of Artists. This jar is inspired by the painting “The Bakers” by Walter Ufer.  Susan says of this piece,

I made this jar to have a very open and organic appearance.  I wanted to capture the fun and intensity of Pueblo women getting ready for Feast Day.  There is so much movement in the clouds and sky and there was an unexpected translucence when I put on the clay slip.  It made me want to keep the clay showing and create a piece which was more subtle.  The use of the layers of rope around the neck are the passing of the legacy of Feast Day and baking bread from one generation to another.

The jar is a large but organic shape with a wide body and indented neck.  The rim of the jar is fully incised to create the appearance of the rope. The body of the piece is painted with the scenes of Pueblo women baking bread.  The clouds are intricately painted with small dots and note how the background areas has large swaths of white clay slip against the natural color of the clay.  The jar is signed on the bottom.

$ 4,900.00
Folwell, Susan – “From Horse to Train” Jar

Susan Folwell is one of the exciting innovators in Pueblo pottery. Her work in native clay and traditional designs, but she is constantly experimenting with techniques and clays.  This jar is rag polished, so that the surface has a satin sheen.  The design is an incised train which encircles the neck.  Note the detail and the precision in the train!  There are also “x’s” for the stars above the train. On the remainder of the jar there are horses, which she uses a stamp and applies them in ink, clay and mica.  The unique shape of the jar, with the low shoulder and asymmetrical rim, are part of the innovative clay work in her pottery.

$ 975.00
Folwell, Susan – Wolves and Buffalo Bowl

Susan Folwell is known for her innovative and unique Santa Clara pottery.  This bowl has an oval shape and the top half is fully polished and the bottom matte. The bowl has painted wolves on the top, along with a cross and Northwest Coast eye.  The bottom is carved with buffalo  and the Folwell family “x’s”.  The bowl denotes a variety of sacred imagery and the coloration from the firing is striking!  The bowl is signed on the bottom.

$ 1,500.00
Folwell, Susan – “Lizards and Roses” Bowl

Susan Folwell is known for her innovative and unique Santa Clara pottery.  This bowl is entitled, “Lizards and Roses”.  For this piece the bowl is left the natural color of the clay on one side an there are etched roses and a lizard.  On the opposite side the bowl is fully etched with the Folwell family “x’s” and there are medallions with roses.  The roses are etched into the clay and highlighted. There is a striking contrast of the colorations on the bowl and the various designs.  The bowl is signed on the bottom.

$ 2,200.00
Folwell, Susan & Les Namingha – “Corn Maiden: Earth Mother” Jar

Susan Folwell (Santa Clara )and Les Namingha (Hopi-Tewa/Zuni) collaborated together for the first time on a series of vessels in a show entitled “Corn:Maiden:Cultures” in 2015. The concept for the exhibition was that the Corn Maiden in Pueblo culture can also be found as a primal female archetype in cultures throughout the world.  There is play back and forth on these vessels as the multi-cultural figures are placed within a Pueblo context as the “Corn Maiden”, who brings the corn, the harvest and life.  This jar has been in an exhibit at the Museum of Indian Art and Culture since 2016.

This large jar was made by Les.  The designs painted by Susan on two sides show a Hopi maiden and a Pueblo maiden.  Her idea was to leave the faces empty, so that they did not represent just one person, but all women.  The two women represent the Pueblo and Hopi ancestry of Les and Susan. Playing from Susan’s more realistic portrayals, Les painted a more modern version of the women on the other two sides.  The angular shape of this vessel, made from Zuni clay, is unusual but also perfect for this important imagery.  In many ways, this powerful jar brings together the ideas of womanhood, femininity, modernism and the continuing importance of the Corn Maiden concept in Pueblo culture.  The dark brown background works perfectly for this intense jar.  Check out more of their exceptional collaborative pottery in the book, “Spoken Through Clay”.

$ 8,800.00
Sale!
King, Charles S., “Spoken Through Clay”

Spoken Through Clay

A NEW  RELEASE SPECIAL:  $95.00, including shipping (US)! Check out the new review in the Denver Post!

 Just a few things which make this book unique!
*   The size!  The book is 11.75″ x 14.25″ and weights over 8 pounds!
*  The photography of the pottery is stunning, emphasizing the individual pieces.
*  Each caption is the artist discussing the individual piece on the page.
*  The artist “biographies” are from interviews with the artists and they discuss their art, culture, lives and history.
*  Organization: The book is not organized by pueblo or family, but entails new ways to think about the future of Native pottery.
*  Printing in Italy gives the book very high quality color and paper.
* The photos of the living artists were taken by Will Wilson using a tin-type process. He was a recipient of the 2107 New Mexico Governor’s Award for the Arts in photography!
*  The book features work by more than 30 contemporary potters and more than a dozen important historic potters.
*  There are essays by myself, Peter Held and Eric Dobkin.  They add to the overall understanding of the project a historic perspective.

_____________________________________________

August 18, Pasatiempo Review

“Charles S. King’s new book, Spoken Through Clay: Native Pottery in the Southwest, The Eric S. Dobkin Collection, is spectacularly heavy —which is a problem from a practical standpoint, because once you open it, you won’t want to put it down. With dreamy tintype artist portraits by Diné photographer Will Wilson, dazzlingly crisp images from Addison Doty, and intimate first-person essays written by dozens of artists, the book is a visually delicious, intellectually consuming foray into historic and contemporary Southwestern pottery. In short, prepare to swoon.

If you’re thinking of this as a coffee-table book, you’ll need to imagine a decently sized coffee table. The book is more than a foot tall and, when opened, two feet wide, but its outsize appearance belies the often delicate beauty of its contents: hundreds of individual pieces of pottery from Eric S. Dobkin’s exquisitely curated collection — arguably the largest and most important of its kind. Gallery owner, author, and Pueblo pottery expert King designed Spoken Through Clay to be approachable for those unfamiliar with Native American pottery. “In the age of social media, I wanted to make the book both visually striking and personal,” King said. The book opens with essays by King, Dobkin, and curator Peter Held, who calls clay “the most archival of materials … seductive, sensuous, responsive, geologic, and malleable.”

“I wanted the end result of the book to be that the reader would connect with the artists in a personal way, beyond just the art, and understand the time it takes to become an artist, to achieve success,” King said. Sprawling yet intimate, Spoken Through Clay introduces its readers not just to the beauty of Southwestern pottery but also to the fascinating stories of the people who make it.Iris McLister, Pasatiempo

____________________________________

“It’s one of the things that makes us who we are. It’s what holds our family together. We are a family of potters. It’s our identity. People don’t realize how much work goes into it just processing the clay and making it. You have to do it with your heart.”—Linda Tafoya-Sanchez

 

FEATURED ARTISTS Grace Medicine Flower • Dextra Quotskuyva • Autumn Borts-Medlock • Jody Naranjo • Harrison Begay Jr. • Jordan Roller • Sara Fina Tafoya • Lonnie Vigil • Margaret Tafoya • Steve Lucas • LuAnn Tafoya • Loren Ami • Toni Roller • Popovi Da • Linda Tafoya-Sanchez • Mark Tahbo • James Ebelacker• Yvonne Lucas • Jeff Roller • Lisa Holt • Harlan Reano • Nampeyo • Jacquie Stevens • Nathan Youngblood • Jacob Koopee Jr. • Jennifer Moquino • Christopher Youngblood • Maria Martinez • Tony Da • Tammy Garcia • Virgil Ortiz • Joseph Lonewolf • Johnathan Naranjo • Nancy Youngblood • Les Namingha • Russell Sanchez • Christine McHorse • Richard Zane Smith • Rondina Huma • Susan Folwell • Dominique Toya • Jody Folwell

Spoken Through Clay features the pottery of iconic Native American artists from historic potters Nampeyo and Maria Martinez, to contemporary potters Tammy Garcia, Virgil Ortiz, and many others, are featured in a new book published by the Museum of New Mexico Press. Spoken Through Clay: Native Pottery of the Southwest showcases nearly three hundred pottery vessels from the acclaimed Eric S. Dobkin Collection, covering a wide range of mostly Pueblo artists from the Southwest.

“The physical scale of the vessels combined with the depth of the contemporary collection [is] breathtaking,” says author Charles S. King. The book is part of a “transitional process of looking to the clay, the vessel, and the potter’s voice and allowing the pieces to stand on the merit of their artistic integrity.”

The book includes portraits and voices of renowned potters speaking about their artistry and technique, families, culture, and traditions. Many of the artists are connected by Pueblos, generations, or family members. Dynamic color photography captures the depth and dimension of the pieces, while the artists provide an illuminating perspective through narrative captions. Artists, academics, collectors, family members, and gallerists add additional insight about the lives, historical context, and importance of these potters and their work.

SPOKEN THROUGH CLAY Native Pottery of the Southwest The Eric S. Dobkin Collection
By Charles S. King Essay by Peter Held

Artist portraits by Will Wilson
ISBN: 978-0-89013-624-9

352 pages, 320 color plates, 40 artist portraits

Publication Date: August 01, 2017
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Charles S. King is the author of Born of Fire: The Life and Pottery of Margaret Tafoya, The Life and Art of Tony Da, Virgil Ortiz: Revolt 1680/2180, and numerous articles on Pueblo pottery. He has served on boards of art associations, judged pottery at prestigious events, and lectures about the art form. His business King Galleries represents many of today’s leading Native potters and important historic works in clay. Charles lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

$ 125.00 $ 95.00
Folwell, Susan – Lidded Jar with Carved Birds

Susan Folwell combines classic imagery with her own contemporary style of shape and design. This tall jar has carved birds in the center of the design.  They are polished tan and the bodies of the birds are carved at various levels, giving them a very distinctive appearance.  The color variation on the wings is from the traditional firing.  The jar itself is slipped with a pinkish colored clay and there are additional birds painted onto the surface.  The lid sits on the top of the jar and its shape is meant to evoke the classic Hopi style bird.  The various colors and use of the matte and polished surfaces works perfectly on this piece.  Susan’s pottery is meant to not only connect with us visually, but also with touch and meant to make us think.

$ 3,300.00
Folwell, Susan – Asymmetrical Jar with Birds & Dragons

This is an exceptional piece by Susan Folwell.  The jar is asymmetrical in form with a section in which the clay is pushed inward. The jar itself is part of a series where Susan broke the piece into sections and reassembled it.  Each section connects to the next and in terms of her designs.  There are interconnected birds and dragons which swirl around the piece.  Susan has long been interested in and influenced by Asian art.  For her, the dragons and “avanyu” are often interchangable images.  The jar is tan polished and the open space has her signature, “x” design.  The various colors are derived from natural clay slips.  The shape and design create a beautiful poetic motion in this jar!  It is signed on the bottom in the clay.  The jar is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It has been in numerous museum exhibitions, including most recently the “Between Two Worlds” at the Phoenix Airport Museum.

$ 4,500.00
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