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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 – Large Mesa Verde Jar with Seven Kivas

This is a spectacular large piece from Al Qoyawayma.  It is one of his architectural pieces from his “Mesa Verde” series.  The oval area is pushed into the clay and then the building is pushed back out from the inside of the bowl.  This piece is one of his more complex works.  There are towers in the background and in the front are seven kivas.  Each is highlighted with vigas and windows. There is even a building to the front left and a stairway down to the front of the bowl!  It is quite extraordinary in complexity and size.  Note how Al etches and then paints all the “bricks” that make up the buildings!  This is one of the largest and most complex architectural pieces we have had from Al in several years.  Al’s architectural pieces are among his most iconic works.  The bowl is signed on the bottom in the clay.  It is from the late 1990’s and it is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 19,750.00
Qoyawayma, Al – Large Water Jar with Four Flute Players (1986)

Al Qoyawayma is known for innovative pottery.  This piece is from 1986 and is a classic wide shoulder water jar.  The jar is stone polished in a vertical manner, which historically is often called an “onion skin” polish.  The jar has four flute players as the design and they are each created in repousse, which is to say that they are pushed out from the inside (not applique).  Al has often used the Flute Player, or Kokopelli, as a design on his pottery.  It is an ancient figure often found on rock art throughout the southwest and “represents wisdom, goodness, and fertility.”  The jar is signed on the bottom.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 6,500.00
Qoyawayma, Al – Large Sikyatki Inspired Polychrome Bowl

This large jar by Al Qoyawayma is a amazing piece with sophisticated clay work and beautiful detail in the carved designs.  The jar has an elegant shape with a narrow base and a wide shoulder with a slightly turned out neck.  Al looks back to the past for inspiration in his designs on his polychrome pottery.  He is also thinking about the future and historic “what if”, in the sense that how would Hopi pottery have evolved if no Western contact.  His polychrome pieces are often a response to this thoughtful query.  This jar has Sikytaki inspired patterns with bird, plant and corn patterns.  The corn design is carved in relief on the surface of the jar.  The small green slipped bird is a perfect addition to the piece!  All the carving is accented with various clay colors.  There are several colors on the top of this piece that are very difficult to achieve in a polished form (such as the tan and yellow colors!). This piece is a striking balance of form, sculpture, color and design!  The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay.

$ 13,000.00
Qoyawayma, Al – Butterfly Woman Vase

Al Qoyawayma is well known for his innovative Hopi pottery.  This jar employs his classic technical style of repousse.  What is repousse?  It means that the clay is pushed in from the front to create the oval shape for the design and that the figure is then pushed out from the inside! The figure on this piece is a Butterfly Woman stylized after Hopi mural drawings.  The figure is actually pushed out from the inside and is not applique (i.e. clay added to the surface).  While this is a time-consuming process, the results are dramatic. The figure is wonderfully detailed.  The remainder of the jar is fully polished in contrast to the matte area of the design.  Note the slight asymmetry to the rim.  The jar is signed on the bottom.

$ 5,800.00
Qoyawayma, Al – Mesa Verde Architectural Jar with Three Kivas

This is a spectacular architectural piece from Al Qoyawayma.  It is one of his pieces from his “Mesa Verde” series.  The oval area is pushed into the clay and then the building is pushed back out from the inside of the bowl.  Beyond the technical, this large bowl has a very intricate designed Mesa Verde series of buildings. There are four tall towers in the background, which are square in shape.  Against the back as well is a long wall,which is beautifully incised and painted with clay slips to give the “bricks” a more realistic appearance.  In the front of the piece are three kivas.  A kiva is a ceremonial round room which historically was built into the ground. There are two covered kivas and one to the right which is missing the roof.  The other two have small ladders which lead down into the kiva.  The bowl is signed on the bottom in the clay.  Al’s architectural pieces are among his most iconic works!

$ 12,500.00
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 the 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 simplicity in form but complexity in the design.  The last photo is of the “Mosquito Man” mural at Pottery Mound, NM.

$ 4,900.00
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