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al qoyawaymaAl QoyawaymaAl Qoyawayma

Al Qoyawayma's Hopi pottery is created in two distinct styles. The first style embodies figurative sculpted reliefs using the repousse' technique, combined with traditional coil construction and tactile stone polished surfaces. The resulting contemporary Hopi pottery calls forth images of the Southwest with its subtle mix of desert hues creating an interplay of light and shadow, so reminiscent of the land of the Hopi. This land and the essence of his ancient relatives nurtures and inspires the artist. Al writes of himself, “I am of the second generation of Hopi beyond the broken pattern, a pattern, a way of life utterly foreign to the western world. With the full influence of western civilization, I am the products of two worlds. Out of our family clan, the Coyote Clan, it was said that we would be the generation to meet the new world and make a change that was our ancient role as the Coyote Clan….to be those who go before. It is only natural that one of our basic survival skills, as exhibited at our ancient home of Sikyatki, should be adapted to today’s world of art. Through the patient hand and guidance of a beautiful teacher, my aunt Polingaysi, I learned the basic techniques and philosophy I now use in my pottery creations. My clay creations reflect the aesthetic influences of the southwest environment and values passed down through our family. Form, textures, contrasts, shadow, the softness of desert color hues are foremost in my work. Oral history and research provide me with themes, continually emerging, which identifies who we were and are; a profound pursuit. At the same time, my repoussé technique provides a “contemporary” style of ceramics. I am not restricted by a particular tradition; rather I’m free to innovate. I find myself trying to “reach” in my creative pursuit, as I strive to bring into focus those things, human and spiritual, just beyond my reach. Creativity will always be my challenge." Most recently, Al won "Best of Pottery" at the 2016 Santa Fe Indian Market and "Best of Pottery" at the 2017 Heard Indian Market.

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Qoyawayma, Al – Hano Mana and Maori Design Wish Pot (1996)

Al Qoyawayma is known for innovative pottery.  This jar is a shape which he calls his “wish pot”.  It is a distinctive form and one that was inspired by his aunt Elizabeth White.  She made similar shapes and they would be designed with corn or other motifs.  The designs on Al’s pottery area ll in repousse, which is to say that they are pushed out from the inside, not applied to the surface!  This jar is from 1996 and is part of series he made inspired by Maori designs from New Zealand.  In  1991 he was a Fulbright Fellow with the Maori and South Pacific Arts/Te Waka Toi.  This jar has a Hano Mana katsina on the left and a Maori tribal symbol on the right.  What is amazing when you look at the jar from the side, the sharpness of the edge on the tribal design.  While the figurative work is matte, the remainder of the jar is stone polished to create a shine.  The jar is signed on the bottom.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 2,000.00
Qoyawayma, Al – Slipper Jar with Jaguar and Bird Men

Al Qoyawayma calls the shape of this jar his “Slipper” pots.  He explains; “It is a shape that is ubiquitous form in pre-historic pottery in areas from Hopi south to Chile.  The figures on the slipper bowls are formed from actual Teotihuacán (Mexico) pottery stamps.  The stamps are genuine with an estimated age of 0-200 AD. The animal representation may be a jaguar or perhaps other smaller animal.  The other 3 figure relief characters I might guess as “bird men”.  I give these stamps and figures respect because of their antiquity. Also, Teotihuacan was very cosmopolitan city and pyramid complex, and is said to have many cultural enclaves, some possibly with ancestors to the Hopi.  Some linguists believe that the Teotihuacán’s spoke Uto-Aztecan, the root language of Hopi.

The slipper pot (or “shoe pots”) are an ancient ubiquitous phenomena found in Chile with the northern most extent at Hopi (and that is interesting).  Even today the shoe pots are beings made in Mexico. There are similar Hopi forms, many with a curved conical “nose” and were used for cooking…so sometimes the pots are referred to as “culinary shoe pots” (archaeologically speaking). My aunt Polingaysi (Elizabeth White) gave me a full explanation of the construction and use of these shoe pots in the 1970’s. Interestingly the pots showed up in an excavation at the village of Sikyatki by Walter Fewkes in 1895. Sikyatki likely occupied by Keres speaking (Laguna and Acoma) group who are the Coyote Clan. My ancestry is of the Coyote Clan.”

$ 5,800.00
Qoyawayma, Al – “Modern Migration” Polychrome Lidded Jar

This large jar by Al Qoyawayma is stunning in his use of numerous clay slips, various levels of carving and his own innovative shape.  Al says his inspiration for his polychrome pieces is to imagine how Hopi Sikyatki pottery might have evolved without western contact. This jar has two sharp shoulders and a central band which is fully carved.  The band is designed with corn, various birds, and prayer feather patterns.  Each is slipped and polished with various clays!  The top has a stylized version inspired by the Migration pattern.  Here there are two sections which are like the historic migration design and they spiral into a larger red parrot and a green eagle. The center of the jar (which is the lid), has a star pattern and then a spiral for the galaxy.  Note the various layers of carving along with all the different colors of clay.  The amount of time to design, carve and polish this jar is extraordinary!  There are over five different clay slips used on this piece!  This piece is a striking balance of form, sculpture, color, and design!  It is signed on the bottom in the clay.

$ 17,500.00
Qoyawayma, Al – Harmony Jar with Flowers and Figure

Al Qoyawayma calls the shape of this jar his “Harmony Shape”.  It has an elongated neck and round body.  It is carved on both sides.  One side has flower,s the other a figure.  The carved areas have additional clay slips.  It is simple and elegant, definitely harmonious!   All the various colors are derived from native clays.   It is a classic piece with a striking balance of designs and form.

$ 4,500.00
Qoyawayma, Al – Large Wide Jar with Dancers and Jaguar

Al Qoyawayma often creates vessels based on ancient forms.  This large jar is based on the Gila River forms which were wide and had a low, sharp shoulder.  On this jar, it is fully polished and Al has created a scene with figurative dancers which are pushed out from the inside in the clay. The jar has a procession of dancers encircling the piece.  Each is matte while the area around is polished. The last figure is a small boy and as the jar is turned, he is being chased by a jaguar!  The form and design are both humorous and charming on this piece.  It is signed on the bottom.

$ 14,000.00
Qoyawayma, Al – Two Spout Polychrome Stirrup Jar

This stirrup jar by Al Qoyawayma is inspired by historic pieces with a similar handle and wide body. The jar has two spouts and he has carved on both sides of the piece.  The design on one side is a wave pattern, while the other has a prayer feather pattern.   The carved areas are also polished, which is striking with this carving of some of the sections!  The ends are carved with a figure and a sun design.  The colors are derived from various clay slips.  The contrast of carved, polished and matte surfaces works beautifully on this piece.  The various layers of carving allow for him to give additional depth to the piece.

$ 8,500.00
Qoyawayma, Al – Lidded Jar with Mosquito Man Design

This jar is an unusual shape for Al Qoyawayma.  The jar has a base which then extends out to the body of the piece. The entire piece is fully polished tan with one carved area of design. The image is the “mosquito man”, which is seen on Kiva Murals and pre-historic pottery throughout the Southwest.  Note the various levels of carving on this piece from the face of the figure all they way to the stars in the sky. All the various colorations are natural clay slips which are matte and polished.  The lid is another unique shape, which seems to replicate the overall shape of the jar.  It is a stunning piece with a simplicity in form but complexity in the design.

$ 4,500.00
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