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Joseph Lonewolf  (1932-2014)

joseph lonewolf Joseph Lonewolf is a son of noted potters Camilio and Agapita Tafoya, and the brother of Grace Medicine Flower. Beginning in the early 1970's, Joseph revolutionized the world of Santa Clara pottery by incorporating his sgraffito (lightly etching the surface of the clay) and incised (more deeply cut into the clay) designs in his work. When Joseph and his family gather clay, they do it with the utmost respect. Before the clay can be taken from Mother Earth, they must say a prayer asking to take the clay and tell the clay mother that they are going to take her and make her into a beautiful pot. The clay is brought home, and water is added to turn the clay to a liquid form known as slip. The slip is then strained to take out any rocks or debris, and then the clay can be dried kneaded and used. Joseph was awarded numerous awards throughout his career, and his work can be found in museums worldwide. He has been featured in numerous books including "The Art of Clay" and has received the prestigious New Mexico Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2009 and the SWAIA Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Lonewolf, Joseph – Wide Jar with Avanyu and Bear Lid (1972)

Joseph Lonewolf began making pottery in 1970-1.  His bear lidded vessels, which he only created for a few years, may be among his most iconic in style.  This wide jar is fully polished and etched with a feathered water serpent encircling the piece.  The body of the avanyu is very complex in design.  The matte area surrounding the avanyu is incised with swirling lines.  The lid has a bear with a fetish bundle of turquoise and coral.  The base of the bear is also fully etched with similar swirling lines to those on the bowl.  It is an exceptional piece in design and form.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay.  Definitely a classic of Joseph’s early pottery style!

$ 2,600.00
Lonewolf, Joseph – Jar with Avanyu and Bear Lid (1973)

Joseph Lonewolf began making pottery in 1970-1.  His bear lidded vessels, which he only created for a few years, may be among his most iconic in style.  This jar is fully polished and etched with a feathered water serpent encircling the piece. The matte area surrounding the avanyu is vertically incised with lines.  The lid has a bear with a fetish bundle of turquoise and coral.  The base of the bear is also fully etched vertically.  It is an exceptional piece in design and form.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay.  Definitely a classic of Joseph’s early pottery style!

$ 2,400.00
Lonewolf, Joseph – Red & Black Bowl with Nine Birds (1978)

Joseph Lonewolf began making pottery in 1970-1.  This is a classic piece of his pottery in the black and red style. The firing is one where he created a “red and black” coloration at the end of the firing process before the manure was added to turn the piece black.  The bowl is polished, incised and etched before it is fired.  The design on this piece is a series of nine birds.  The top half of the bowl is red and the bottom half is black.  The area behind the birds is more deeply incised with a swirling linear design.   The precision of the designs and the shine of the polished surface create a perfect balance.  This piece is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay.

$ 1,250.00
Lonewolf, Joseph – “Standing Fawn & Butterflies” Seedpot (1989)

This seedpot by Joseph Lonewolf is from 1989.  The piece is coil built and stone polished. The design is etched into the clay.  There is a single standing fawn on one side surrounded by a blue clay slip.  Surrounding the fawn are 20 small butterflies also highlighted in blue. On the back is a doe and her fawn lightly etched into the clay. They are surrounded by more very tiny etched butterflies! Near the base is the 1989 yearly symbol, an ankh, an ancient Egyptian symbol of life.  Each year Joseph would create a new “yearly symbol” and use it to “date” his pieces for that year.  Beginning in the early 1970’s, Joseph Lonewolf revolutionized the world of Santa Clara pottery by incorporating his sgraffito (lightly etching the surface of the clay) and incised (more deeply cut into the clay) designs.  The piece is signed on the bottom.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 4,200.00
Lonewolf, Joseph – Mimbres Insects Seedpot (1982)

This seedpot by Joseph Lonewolf is from 1982 and it is highly polished and fired red.  The design has six different Mimbres insects as the design.  There are a bee, butterfly, beetle, mosquito and two others.  Each is etched into the clay and then their bodies consist of additional designs.  All the various colors are derived from natural clay slips.  There are three different green clays, blue and white.  Near the base is the yearly symbol for 1982, which is a “+”.   The piece is very highly polished and intricately designed.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  Joseph Lonewolf said of his use of Mimbres imagery in his pottery:

“I regard the Mimbres as my ancestors. Though I refine their designs, each design must have meaning for me. In my dreams I see how to use the design, how to make the pot happen. Then when I work the clay, everything flows. Some people wonder why I keep changing styles, colors, forms. But I can’t just sit there and make pots. Like any artist, I must try different things, different techniques. I must meet the challenge with my hands. The patterns and the methods I see in my mind during my dreams.” —Joseph Lonewolf, 1974, Spoken Through Clay

“I regard the Mimbres as my ancestors. Though I refine their designs, each design must have meaning for me. In my dreams I see how to use the design, how to make the pot happen. Then when I work the clay, everything flows. Some people wonder why I keep changing styles, colors, forms. But I can’t just sit there and make pots. Like any artist, I must try different things, different techniques. I must meet the challenge with my hands. The patterns and the methods I see in my mind during my dreams.” —Joseph Lonewolf, 1974, Spoken Through Clay

$ 1,800.00
Lonewolf, Joseph – Rabbit and Rabbit Hunters (1987)

This seedpot by Joseph Lonewolf is from 1987 and it is highly polished and fired black.  The design has two Mimbres inspired figures who are hunting a rabbit.  One is holding a “rabbit stick” and the other has just thrown his.  The opposite side has a Mimbres rabbit etched into the clay.  All the various colors are derived from natural clay slips.  Near the base is an incised butterfly.  The 1987 symbol, the Propeller of Life, is also etched into the design.  The piece is very highly polished and intricately designed.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  Joseph Lonewolf said of his use of Mimbres imagery in his pottery:

“I regard the Mimbres as my ancestors. Though I refine their designs, each design must have meaning for me. In my dreams I see how to use the design, how to make the pot happen. Then when I work the clay, everything flows. Some people wonder why I keep changing styles, colors, forms. But I can’t just sit there and make pots. Like any artist, I must try different things, different techniques. I must meet the challenge with my hands. The patterns and the methods I see in my mind during my dreams.” —Joseph Lonewolf, 1974, Spoken Through Clay

$ 1,400.00
Lonewolf, Joseph – “Buffalo Dancer” Etching, 23/60 (1984)

Joseph Lonewolf created a series of original etchings based on designs from his pottery.  This piece is entitled, “Buffalo Dancer”.  It was printed at El Cerro Graphics in New Mexico in 1984.  The image on the front is a Pueblo Buffalo Dancer.  It is framed and was made in 1984 and it is 23/60.  It is in excellent condition.

$ 600.00
Lonewolf, Joseph – “Spirit of Winter” Etching, 23/60 (1984)

Joseph Lonewolf created a series of original etchings based on designs from his pottery.  This piece is entitled, “Spirit of Winter”.  It was printed at El Cerro Graphics in New Mexico in 1984.  The image on the front is a Pueblo Deer Dancer.  It is framed and on the back is the original documentation signed by Joseph Lonewolf for the edition.  It was made in 1984 and it is 23/60.  It is in excellent condition.

$ 600.00
Lonewolf, Joseph – Seedpot with Antelope (1979)

This seedpot by Joseph Lonewolf is from 1979.  It has an incised antelope as the design on the top of the piece.  On the sides of the piece are rain and lightning designs and even a very small dragonfly!  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  The seedpot is signed on the bottom in the clay.

$ 1,100.00
Lonewolf, Joseph – “Quail” Etching, 18/60 (1981)

Joseph Lonewolf created a series of original etchings based on designs from his pottery.  This piece has quail and butterflies as the design.  It is very intricately designed with many of the same motifs he used in his pottery.   It is dated 1981 and signed and numbered 18/60.  It is in excellent condition.

$ 200.00
Sale!
Lonewolf, Joseph – Mimbres Rabbit Seedpot (1976)

Beginning in the early 1970’s, Joseph Lonewolf revolutionized the world of Santa Clara pottery by incorporating his sgraffito (lightly etching the surface of the clay) and incised (more deeply cut into the clay) designs.  This seedpot is from 1976 and it is fully designed. On the top is a Mimbres inspired rabbit.  The surrounding designs are water, grass and plant imagery.  The piece is highly polished and fired red.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay with the date.   It is in condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 2,500.00 $ 2,000.00
Lonewolf, Joseph – Seedpot with Turtle & Fish (1984)

This seedpot by Joseph Lonewolf is from 1984 and it is highly polished and fired red.  The design is unusual as it has a turtle as the central pattern. The turtle is not unusual but note the shape of the turtle’s head and neck and it is certainly reminiscent of the work of Tony Da in style.  The turtle has a mountain design on its back and note at the lower right there is a tiny dragonfly.  As the seedpot is turned there are two incised Mimbres style fish etch into the clay.  There is also another dragonfly.  There is also the yearly symbol for 1984 which has the shifting sand pattern.  The seedpot is highly polished and the contrast of the matte and polished surfaces works perfectly for this desig.  It is is signed on the bottom in the clay.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 1,200.00
Lonewolf, Joseph – Bowl with Grasshopper Medallions (1973)

Beginning in the early 1970’s, Joseph Lonewolf revolutionized the world of Santa Clara pottery by incorporating his sgraffito (lightly etching the surface of the clay) and incised (more deeply cut into the clay) designs.  This bowl is very thin walled and has an indented bottom.  It is fully polished red and etched with a single medallion. There is a Mimbres style grasshopper or cricket as the design.  Not the depth and precision of the matte area behind the insect!  There are rectangular green polished areas surrounding it, which represent the grass.  The use of the green clay slip in 1973 was quite new and a extraordinary addition to native clay colorations at the time.   The remainder of the bowl is fully polished red.  The precision of the designs and the shine of the polished surface create a perfect balance.  This piece is in perfect condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay.

$ 1,800.00
Lonewolf, Joseph – Feathered Water Serpent Seedpot (1990’s)

Beginning in the early 1970’s, Joseph Lonewolf revolutionized the world of Santa Clara pottery by incorporating his sgraffito (lightly etching the surface of the clay) and incised (more deeply cut into the clay) designs.  This seedpot is from the 1990’s.  It has the yearly symbol of a heart with a cross in it on the back.  On the front is the classic Feathered Water Serpent which was used by Joseph Lonewolf and his family.  Note the intricate detail in the head and the feathers.  There is an additional butterfly etched into the back of the piece.   The precision of the designs and the shine of the polished surface create a perfect balance.  This piece is in perfect condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay.

$ 1,250.00
Lonewolf, Joseph – “Mimbres Cricket” Seedpot (1997)

This seedpot by Joseph Lonewolf is from 1997.  The piece is entitled, “Mimbres Cricket”.  It includes a signed version of the card which Joseph made for each of his miniatures.  This piece was actually made for our show at the gallery with Joseph and Grace Medicine Flower in 1998.   Joseph wrote partially of this piece:

“Portrayed from a side view is a cricket representative of the Mimbres Period – 10th to 14th centuries.  The cricket – an insect related to the locust and grasshopper, but usually having long antennae – appears to be leaping in mid-air.  Beneath the Mimbres cricket is highly polished red slipwork (Mother Earth) which encompasses the extreme front, partial sides, back side and a portion of the top.”

The butterfly is symbolic of beauty and the the interlocking rings medallion represents the attachment between friends and was the yearly symbol for 1997.  Beginning in the early 1970’s, Joseph Lonewolf revolutionized the world of Santa Clara pottery by incorporating his sgraffito (lightly etching the surface of the clay) and incised (more deeply cut into the clay) designs.  The piece is signed on the bottom and includes the signed artist card.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 1,500.00
Lonewolf, Joseph – Jar with Avanyu (1971)

Joseph Lonewolf began making pottery in 1970-1.  This is a very early piece of his pottery.  It is a more classic shape with a wide shoulder which slopes upward.  The bottom half of the piece is fully polished. The top is etched with a water serpent (avanyu) with a feather pattern, which is the style used by him and his family.  The matte background area is deeply etched swirls up from the shoulder and over the rim.  It must have been exciting in 1971 to see work that was so new and unique at the time!  This piece is in perfect condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay.

$ 1,200.00
Lonewolf, Joseph – Grizzly Cubs & Butterflies Seedpot (1984)

Beginning in the early 1970’s, Joseph Lonewolf revolutionized the world of Santa Clara pottery by incorporating his sgraffito (lightly etching the surface of the clay) and incised (more deeply cut into the clay) designs.  This seedpot is from 1984.  It has two grizzly bear cubs, each etched into the clay in great detail.  Each of the cubs is entranced with the butterflies.  What is so exceptional on this piece is not just the bears and the interaction with the butterflies, but the filigree style etching work surrounding them.  The plants and the feather patterns flow around the piece in a delicate stylistic manner.  It’s always difficult with his work to imagine that Joseph etched the designs into the clay!  There is an additional white clay slip used along with a red clay slip.   The back of the piece has a medallion with a rainbow, which is the yearly symbol for 1984.  The precision of the designs and the shine of the polished surface create a perfect balance.  This piece is in perfect condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 2,800.00
Lonewolf, Joseph – “Leaping Grasshoppers” Seedpot (1997)

This seedpot by Joseph Lonewolf is from 1997.  The piece is entitled, “Leaping Grasshoppers”.  It includes a signed version of the card which Joseph made for each of his miniatures.  There is also a photo of Joseph holding the piece! Joseph wrote partially of this piece,

“Portrayed side view are two geometrically designed and color-toned grasshoppers.  Representative of the Mimbres Period – 10th to 14th centuries. Both grasshoppers appear to be leaping.  Beneath the plant-eating insects is a higly polished red slipwork symbolic of Mother Earth.  Swirled and jagged to denote “Her” terrain, MOther Earth’s surface is only sparsely vegetated.”

The butterfly etched on the back is symbolic of beauty and the the interlocking rings medallion represents the attachment between friends and was the yearly symbol for 1997.   This piece was actually purchased at our gallery show for Joseph Lonewolf and Grace Medicine Flower in 1998! Beginning in the early 1970’s, Joseph Lonewolf revolutionized the world of Santa Clara pottery by incorporating his sgraffito (lightly etching the surface of the clay) and incised (more deeply cut into the clay) designs.  The piece is signed on the bottom and includes the signed artist card.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 1,600.00
Lonewolf, Joseph – “Lone Chipmunk” (1986)

This is a charming miniature by Joseph Lonewolf  Beginning in the early 1970’s, Joseph Lonewolf revolutionized the world of Santa Clara pottery by incorporating his sgraffito (lightly etching the surface of the clay) and incised (more deeply cut into the clay) designs.  This seedpot is entitled, “Lone Chipmunk”.  Joseph wrote of this piece:

“Comprising the front side of this minature is a cheerful, alert, sun-loving little animal, a lone chipmunk.  Below the handsome hoarder, at the base, is the symbol of beauty, a tiny butterfly.  Encircling the chipmunk and comprising the back side are designs symbolic of sun rays and the natural habitat (of the chipmunk).

The surface is fully polished red and there are additional black, white, green and blue clay slips added to create the colorations.  The yearly symbol for 1986 is a “heart” which represents love and Lonewolf says, “in particular a deep devotion for the ancestors and Mother Earth”.  The seedpot is signed on the bottom in the clay.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 1,600.00
Lonewolf, Joseph – “Call to The Creatures” (1984)

Beginning in the early 1970’s, Joseph Lonewolf revolutionized the world of Santa Clara pottery by incorporating his sgraffito (lightly etching the surface of the clay) and incised (more deeply cut into the clay) designs.  This seedpot is entitled, “Call to the Creatures”.  Joseph wrote of this piece:

“The time has come…the People must stock up on food and clothing once again.  Standing upon the design symbolic of his pathway, the flute player lifts his flute and calls the creatures on the back side of this creation.  Encircled by the musical story coming from his flute, the flute player, symbolic of leadership, tells the rabbit, antelope, ram, and fish to come forth and provide the people all they require”.

This seedpot is very intricately designed with a fourish of the flute player on the piece. There is an additional green clay slip used to highlight the piece. The yearly symbol for 1984 is near the base and it is a rainbow, symbolising a bright future.  The seedpot is signed on the bottom in the clay.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It includes the original card with the information on the piece.

$ 2,000.00
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
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