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Susan FolwellSusan 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 – “Plaza Rail Runner” Plate

Susan Folwell is known for her innovative and unique Santa Clara pottery.  This is a rectangular curved plate which can sit flat or on its side.  The piece is entitled, “Plaza Rail Runner”. The design is painted onto the clay and depicts the Plaza and cathedral in Santa Fe.  Int he foreground is a woman with binoculars watching the crowd.  Behind her are the tents of Santa Fe Indian Market and the train logo for the Rail Runner train in New Mexico.  The title of the piece is a clever play on the scene.  It is signed on the bottom.

$ 975.00
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 – “Thunder Heart” Jar

This is a very creative jar by Susan Folwell.  The jar is entitled, “Thunder Heart”.  It is etched with frogs around the shoulder of the piece.  Susan said the inspiration for the frogs was that desert frogs or toads rely on water and burrow underground where it stays cool and damp to hibernate through the dry months.  During the first rain storms they are “revived” and return to life from their hibernation.  There the frogs have clouds behind them and lightning below.  The rim and the inside of the jar have carved stars!  Yes, carved! This is technically difficult to carve the inside of a jar.  Then as one looks down the neck of the jar there is a basket pattern painted in the clay.  Note how the sections of the basket have a very “op art” appearance! For the inside of the jar there is a moon, on which she has painted a lightning bolt on one side and butterflies on the other.  In the photos, I placed the moon outside the jar. It is signed on the bottom in the clay.

$ 2,400.00
Folwell, Susan – Large Seedpot with Butterflies

Susan Folwell is known for her innovative Santa Clara pottery.  This large seedpot is fully polished and etched with a butterfly as the design. The surrounding imagery is a mosaic checkerboard pattern with additional butterfly designs. The contrasting coloration of matte and polished surfaces is striking!  The seedpot is signed on the bottom in the clay.

$ 975.00
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
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 – “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.

$ 4,000.00
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 – Winter Canteen with Sikyatki and Pueblo Designs

Susan Folwell is one of the exciting innovators in Pueblo pottery.  This canteen is a larger piece of her pottery. The canteen is designed in the “old style” with the raised central area, representing the “navel” of the vessel. The front is painted with a cloud and snow pattern inspired by Sikyatki designs.  The back has additional cloud and snow designs along with the Folwell family “x” pattern. The base of the canteen is white and the designs are all painted in brown and gold.  The snow patterns and coloration create this unique “winter canteen”.  The form is designed with clay “loops” which allow for a leather strap to be run through them.  Susan also carved the wood stopper for the canteen!  The jar is signed on the back and can either be laid flat or vertically in a stand.

$ 3,600.00
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 – 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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