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hopi pueblo potteryHopi Pottery

Hopi Pottery is created on the Hopi Reservation located in northeastern Arizona surrounded by the Navajo Reservation. Hopi consists of three Mesas, and each Mesa has several villages. Modern Hopi pottery makers use traditional methods to create their artworks.  The clay is collected from the Hopi mesas then kneaded and processed by hand.  The pots are then carefully hand constructed using the coil and scrape techniques their ancestors taught them.  The paints used are from naturally occurring materials.  For example, black paint is made by boiling Bee-weed for a long time until it becomes very dark and thick. It is then dried into little cakes which are wrapped in corn husk until ready for use. It is called guaco.  The intricate and beautiful designs are painted freehand using a yucca leaf brush. The pots are then fired in the open air out on the mesa using sheep dung and cedar wood as a heat source. See Hopi-Tewa Group Pottery

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Setalla, Stetson – Large Wide Bowl with Mountain and Cloud Patterns

Stetson Setalla is a son of noted potter Pauline Setalla.  This wide bowl is fully painted triangular mountain designs along with cloud patterns. The designs are intricately painted with hatchwork and geometric patterns. The bowl is coil built and painted with bee-weed and natural clay slips.  Note the various colors he has used on this bowl, which is certainly unusual!  The bowl is traditionally fired with striking fire clouds on the surface.  Interestingly, the first time I met Stetson was through the famous photographer Jerry Jacka, around 1998.  Jerry was photographing Stetson’s pottery for is book on Hopi art and asked Stetson to stay until I arrived so I could see his pottery!  Definitely a talented potter from the very beginning!  This bowl is signed on the bottom.

$ 800.00
Duwyenie, Preston – Black Micaceous Seedpot with Silver Lid

Preston Duwyenie is renown for his elegant pottery which is often highlighted with silver medallions.  This seedpot is made from micaceous clay and fired black.  The sparkle on the surface comes from the mica clay slip.  The lid is cast from cuttlefish bone (a type of squid) and then Preston makes a silver finial to perfectly fit into the seedpot.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay with Preston’s hallmark.  It is a woman carrying a child on her back, which is also Preston’s Hopi name, which means “carried in beauty”.

$ 500.00
Duwyenie, Preston – Tall Black Micaceous Jar with Silver Insets

This is a distinctive jar by Preston Duwyenie.  The piece is a tall jar with a narrow opening. The piece is slipped in a micaceous clay and then fired black. The mica then gives the piece a very metallic appearance.  There are two inset pieces of silver on one side of the jar.  Each silver piece has the appearance of “shifting sands”, much in a similar style to the pottery where he has carved a shifting sand pattern.  They are cast by Preston against cuttlefish bone, to create the distinctive texture.  The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay with Preston’s hallmark, which means “carried in beauty”.  There is certainly something both modern and ancient about this striking piece!   Preston is from Third Mesa at Hopi and taught ceramics for years at Institute of American Indian Art (IAIA) in Santa Fe.  He is married to pottery Debra Duwyenie and now resides in Santa Clara Pueblo.  Preston has won numerous awards for pottery, including “Best of Show” at the Heard Indian Market.

$ 2,100.00
Duwyenie, Debra & Preston – Tile with 10 Turtles

Debra Duwyenie is well known for her wonderful miniatures and incised designs. Each piece is stone polished and then it is etched before it is fired! This tile is flat with ten turtles.  Each of them has a different design on its back.  Usually, Debra etches one of the turtles to have a “shifting sand” design to represent her husband, Preston Duwyenie.  That one can be seen in the corner.  Surrounding the turtles are lots of dragonflies along with a lizard.  The edge of the tile has a water serpent encircling the piece  and a rain cloud in the corner.  Note that the lighter red matte areas are where Debra has only etched away the polished surface but not down as far as the tan color of the clay. Debra also pays close attention to the little details like the tan background area and how evenly she etches the vertical lines.   The back of the tile is also fully polished.  The piece is signed on the back by both artists.

$ 750.00
Duwyenie, Preston – Shifting Sand Seedpot with Fan Design

Preston Duwyenie is know for his Hopi pottery which blends modern and traditional aspects of the art. This seedpot is made from a red clay which he finds near Second Mesa at Hopi.  The clay fired a tan coloration.  The body of the piece is fully polished.  The top area above the shoulder has the shifting sand design.  What makes the sand area so fascinating is how he carves it so that it has very natural appearance.  It flows around the entire surface, just as if the clay has been swept away. The top view of the piece shows the design nicely and the shadows the design creates.  The lid is made from silver and cast against cuttlefish bone. Preston cut the lid so that it has a stylized fan half-circle or plant shape.  The casting creates a similar style of ‘shifting sand’ design to complement the clay areas!  The the seedpot and the silver lid are signed on the bottom with Preston’s hallmark which is a woman carrying a child and his Hopi name, which means “carried in beauty”.   Preston is from Third Mesa at Hopi, and taught ceramics for years at Institute of American Indian Art (IAIA) in Santa Fe.

Why the shifting sand designs? Preston says he remembers watching a smooth pebble caught in sand being shifted by the wind, “there was beauty in its isolation within the sea of sand. It was like an island.  The endless sands of time, and the fact that people, too are tossed about by the wind. There is always rippling in our lives”.

$ 750.00
Begaye, Nathan – Large Polychrome Jar with Cloud Swirls

Nathan Begaye was a unique innovator among Pueblo and Navajo potters.  His ethnic connection to both Hopi and Navajo let his work flow between the two distinctive styles and yet find their own unique space.  His pottery used traditional designs, forms and techniques, yet somehow appeared very modern.  This large jar by Nathan is coil built and stone polished vertically to create an “onion skin” appearance to the surface.  The jar is then painted with different clay slips of various colors. All his different colors were always natural clays.  The design on this jar takes it inspiration from the ancient Tularosa pottery and their swirl patterns, as well as the cloud designs on Hopi pottery.  The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

 

 

$ 1,100.00
Qoyawayma, Al – Polycrome Triangular Box with Moth Man

This triangular “box” by Al Qoyawayma is an exceptional piece of his pottery. The shape is distinctive with the three flat sides and the flat lid.  The three sides allow him space to create his multi-layer carved designs.  On the “back” panel is the classic Month Man which is derived from ancient kiva art. Here he is depicted with a plant design. On the there is a Hopi style bird with cloud and lightning designs above.  On the opposite side is a complex pattern of bird wings and a old style bird near the base.  I included some close shots of the sides to show the real depth of the layers of carving and the textural nature of the corn patterns in the carved areas.  The lid is carved in multiple layers and has a swirled bird and prayer feathers.   The various layers of carving allow for him to give additional depth to the piece.  The colors are all natural clay slips which are often stone polished to create the shine in contrast to the matte surfaces.  The colorations on this piece are stunning and add to the striking appearance and balance of form, sculpture and design!  It is signed on the bottom in the clay.  Simple perfection!

$ 11,000.00
Qoyawayma, Al – Cliff Dwelling and Butterfly

Al Qoyawayma calls the shape of this jar his “Serenity vase”.  It is a distinctive form with the two overlapping spouts. This polychrome jar is carved with a very old style Sikyatki butterfly on one side.  It has various layers of carving which give added depth to the design and the various colors are all from different clay slips. The opposite side has a pueblo cliff dwelling which has areas which are recessed and the entire surface is fully carved!  Note the various shapes of the doors with the keyhole, square the even ones with the fallen beams!    It is a classic piece with a striking balance of designs and form. The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay.

$ 3,900.00
Qoyawayma, Al – Large Full Arch Mesa Verde Jar

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. I have included photos of the process, as I think they are both fascinating and also show the incredible skill and time it takes to make a piece like this happen!  Beyond the technical, this large bowl has a very intricate designed Mesa Verde series of buildings. There are the tall towers in the background, both round, and square. In the front is a fully covered kiva with a ladder and an older kiva with the roof missing.  The front has the rocks sculpted into the clay.  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!

$ 18,000.00
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 – Double Lobe Jar with Doorways & A Star

This is a thoughtful piece from Al Qoyawayma.  It is one of his architectural pieces, with the pueblo wall scene carved into the center of the jar. The shape has two lobes and the top and bottom part are vertically polished.  It is the center section which is fascinating with three different pueblo doorways and one window, found in ruins throughout the southwest.  Each of these are carved into the clay and note the detail on the walls.  The color variations are created using various clay slips.  Al says about this piece:

There are four opening shapes….only three are doorways. The “cross” or Star design is that used in weavings, pottery and petroglyphs. One could ask “which star”. Well it is likely more emblematic of many different stars depending on location.  The Polynesians used stars to navigate.  A late 1970’s recreation of the double hulled vessel used to navigate the Pacific is called Hokulea, or the “Star of Gladness”.  I like that metaphor. In Hopi, star is “soohu” and gladness is “háalayi”.  Although Hopi and Polynesian language may have no relation I like that “Ho-ku” and “soo-hu” are phonetically similar and “lea” might sound a little like “-layi”.  No matter.  I worked with and was a friend of Hawaiian artist and historian Herb Kané.  I asked if I could create a piece by that name (and he said yes)….and created a star in the motif. So a “long story” short I have an affinity for a star that brings or gives us gladness or happiness…..and especially the “Star of Bethlehem”.

The three doorways can be found in various ruins in the Southwest.  The “tee-door” is the most recognizable.  It’s possible origin in the americas is a much longer discussion. We don’t have a precise story about the T-door shape….at least I don’t, but I like it. It can be found in other locations around the world. The “trapzodial” shaped door is common throughout the Americas, especially pre-Ican precision stone architecture.  The last polygonal shape is just part of a doorway where the beam above the door has rotted away and the outline created by doorway rock falling away….I saw it in a ruin

Al’s architectural pieces are among his most iconic works!  This one encompasses much of the story of his art!

$ 6,900.00
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
Nampeyo, Iris – Wide Jar with Corn Design

Iris Nampeyo is a daughter of Fannie Nampeyo and a well known for her elegant asymmetrical vessels with corn as part of the design in relief.  Iris began using the corn in relief on the surface of her pottery in the early 1980’s. The corn is symbolic of being part of the Corn Clan.  The surface of the bowl is stone polished and the corn on the front is in applique relief.  The husk of the corn is sharp and the matte area extends around to the base of the jar.  The matte areas are in contrast to the remainder of the piece which is polished.  The opening is asymmetrical which is in keeping with the organic style of the form.  There is a simplicity and elegance in her pottery.  While she no longer makes pottery, her vessels remain classic.  This piece is signed on the bottom in the clay and it is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 550.00
Duwyenie, Preston – “Shards” Black Water Jar with 21 Silver Insets

Stunning!  This is an exquisite water jar by Preston Duwyenie.  The water jar is made from micaceous clay and fired black.  The multiple layers of micaceous clay give the jar a metallic appearance to the surface.  The shape is a classic double shoulder water jar with a fluted rim.   The jar is entitled, “Shards” and Preston has taken cast 21 silver “shards” against cuttlefish bone.  Each “shard” is the cut and a space carved into the clay before the jar is fired.  After it is fired, each piece is then put into the jar and it is etched around the silver. Each silver piece has the appearance of “shifting sands”, much in a similar style to the pottery where he has carved a shifting sand pattern.  The complement of the silver and the silvery color of the micaceous clay is perfection!  The last two photos show the jar before it was fired and after it was fired black (before insetting the silver).   The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay with Preston’s hallmark, which means “carried in beauty”.  There is certainly something both modern and ancient about this striking piece!   Preston is from Third Mesa at Hopi, and taught ceramics for years at Institute of American Indian Art (IAIA) in Santa Fe.  He is married to pottery Debra Duwyenie and now resides at Santa Clara Pueblo.  Preston has won numerous awards for pottery, including “Best of Show” at the Heard Indian Market.

 

$ 4,500.00
Youvella, Wallace – Seedpot with Deer (1976-9)

This is an intricate miniature by Wallace Youvella, the husband of Iris Nampeyo  It is fully polished red and the design is a wildlife scene with a deer and mountains.  The seedpot was made between 1976-9.  Wallace was one of the first three men at Hopi in the mid-1970’s to begin making pottery (the others were Mark Tahbo and Thomas Polacca).  Interestingly, Thomas and Wallace (who were brothers-in-law) both started with traditional Hopi-Tewa designs but met resistance from the women potters, so began making pieces which were either fully polished and etched, or carved.  This piece is signed on the bottom in the clay.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 175.00
Nampeyo, Nellie – Bowl with Rain and Cloud Design

Nellie Nampeyo Douma was the second daughter of Nampeyo of Hano and a sister of Fannie Nampeyo and Annie Nampeyo.  This small bowl is white slipped and painted with a rain and cloud motif.  The design is repeated around the shoulder of the bowl. The black is bee-weed and the bowl was traditionally fired and it is signed on the bottom, “Nellie Nampeyo”.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 350.00
Begaye, Nathan – Kiva Bowl with Frog in Center

Nathan Begaye was a unique innovator among Pueblo and Navajo potters.  His ethnic connection to both Hopi and Navajo let his style flow between the two distinctive cultures and yet find their own unique space.  His work used traditional designs, forms and techniques, yet somehow appeared very modern.  This is a very unusual and traditional style bowl.  The shape is a “kiva” bowl with the kiva steps on the side.  On the outside they are painted with dragonflies and on the inside with clouds.  The center of the bowl has a traditional frog as the pattern with a cloud design on its head.  The bowl is slipped with a white clay and the painted with natural clay slips and traditionally fired.  It is signed on the bottom with his wave/cloud hallmark.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 750.00
White, Elizabeth  – Corrugated Water Jar (1970’s)

Elizabeth White was an aunt of noted potter Al Qoyawayma and taught him to make pottery.  She originated the use of the ear of corn as a design in repousse (pushed out from the inside) on her pottery. Her pottery is all signed in the clay with her Hopi name Polingaysi, which means, “butterfly sitting among the flowers in the breeze”.  This jar is one of her corrugated pieces.  I asked Al Qoyawayma why she created the corrugated surfaces and his response was,

“I think Elizabeth liked experimenting.  She used at least three kinds of textured surfaces.  The “corrugated” simulation, the “basket bowl” and of course the “simulated corn” texture.  In the basket bowl she would press the clay into the basket to get the texture of the basket and then finish with a smooth rim.”

This jar is “corrugated”, meaning that she would not smooth down the coils but would impress them with her finger or a tool to create the layered surface. The result is certainly one that almost does have a basket appearance!  This jar is also made from the traditional Hopi red clay.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  Interestingly, Polingaysi was a school teacher and taught at Hopi and  Navajo schools for almost 40 years.  On retirement from teaching, she became an artist, a poet, and a philosopher.  Her career as a potter was begun late in life, after her retirement, so there is very little of her work available. It is a classic of her work and an important addition to any collection! It is definitely a charming piece of her pottery!

$ 1,000.00
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 – “Uxmal: Governor’s Palace” Bowl

This is a spectacular piece from Al Qoyawayma.  It is one of his architectural pieces with a design which combines both Ancetral Pueblo and Mayan architectural styles. The form of the building is inspired by the Mayan Uxmal Governor’s Palace building with the wide elongated front. The square doors and the straight portico are part of this style.  Al says of this piece, ”

“Uxmal is a site in the Yucatan and was home to about 25,000. The original site was build by the Maya’s and later taken over by Uto-Aztecan speaking Toltecs, as were other locations such as Chichen Itza.  This site has numerous large buildings, pyramids (the largest is the “Pyramid of the Magician”) and the “Nunnery”, along with a large ball court.  The building I am emulating is the “Governor’s Palace” built with very finely cut stone…better than Chaco. It is rectangular….and about 300-400 feet long, 100-150 feet wide and 30-40 feet high. There are two large inset trapezoidal (corbel) arches on the long axis on each side of the building, along with 9 smaller doorways. The trapezoids are filled in with cut stone to form “tee-doors”. A geometric analemma (spiral) patterns (annual path of the sun) are inset in stone next to the doors (but not in my piece), and very impressive. A very long wide paved roadway (sacbe…”white roadway”) intersects the steps of the southeast face of the building, sort of like a royal entrance. This sacbe interconnects Uxmal with Kabah site which also has corbelled arches.  

I was inspired by the visiting the site.  The Pyramid of the Magician has Hopi migration symbols at the top.  Of course, the “Tee door” is emulated throughout the southwest. The Governor’s Palace has a very formal, stately, impressive architecture. Given our Hopi stories of interconnection with the south (Uto-Aztecan speaking Toltec, Mixtec, Zapotec, Aztec, with Hopi being a Northern dialect) and the stories of “red cities to the south with running water, etc, make this structure of natural interest to me. These implications and my visit there created the inspiration for this piece.”

Technically, the architectural scene is created in repousse, as it is pushed out from the clay to create the structures.  They are then refined and incised to create the intricate stone work and various levels.  It is both beautiful and complex as he carried the walls off to the side of the bowl.  Note the color variations on the buildings, which are created using various clay slips.  Al’s architectural pieces are among his most iconic works!

$ 10,500.00
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
Begaye, Nathan – Melon jar with Birds (1985)

Nathan Begaye was a unique innovator among Pueblo and Navajo potters.  His ethnic connection to both Hopi and Navajo let his work flow between the two distinctive styles and yet find their own unique space.  His work used traditional designs, forms and techniques, yet somehow appeared very modern.  This is an exceptional jar by Nathan Begaye  The shape has a low shoulder and a slightly turned out neck. The shoulder has melon ribs pushed out in the clay.  Below the shoulder is very detailed painted Hopi style birds.  Check out the very intricate checkerboard patterns.  I remember watching Nathan create those patterns and work with the various colors of clay, all of which are natural.  It was fascinating how he knew which ones he could polish and which ones to leave matte. The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

 

$ 900.00
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
Duwyenie, Preston – Traditional Ladle with Silver Inset

This is a traditional ladle or spoon by Preston Duwyenie.  It is made from a red clay found near Hopi.  The entire piece is fully polished. There is an inset piece of silver on the handle. The silver is meant to represent the shifting sands found in the areas around Hopi.  The silver is cast against cuttle-fish bone (a type of squid).  The silver is inset after the firing and there is a design etched on both ends.  The ladle is signed on the back in the clay with Preston’s hallmark which is a woman carrying a child.  Preston is from Third Mesa at Hopi, and taught ceramics for years at Institute of American Indian Art (IAIA) in Santa Fe.

$ 275.00
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
White, Elizabeth  – Mudhead Katsina Clay Figure

Elizabeth White is an aunt of noted potter Al Qoyawayma and taught him to make pottery.  She originated the use of the ear of corn as a design in repousse (pushed out from the inside) on her pottery. Her pottery is all signed in the clay with her Hopi name Polingaysi, which means, “butterfly sitting among the flowers in the breeze”.  This is one of her classic “wind chimes”  It is in the shape of a Mudhead Katsina and made with the red clay from Hopi.  There is a piece of leather that holds the clay tab on the under side of the figure.  It is signed in the clay on the inside of the rim.  Elizabeth made various katsinas figures as “wind chimes” as well as corn maiden figures.  This piece in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  Interestingly, Polingaysi was a school teacher and taught at Hopi and  Navajo schools for almost 40 years.  On retirement from teaching, she became an artist, a poet, and a philosopher.  Her career as a potter was begun late in life, after her retirement, so there is very little of her work available. It is a classic of her work and an important addition to any collection! It is definitely a charming piece of her pottery!

$ 625.00
Duwyenie, Preston – Red “Earth in Balance” Bowl

This piece by Preston Duwyenie is made from red Hopi clay. The shape is inspired by early Sikyatki pottery with wide, low shoulders.  The body of the piece is fully polished with a matte area near the top.  The polished area is meant to represent the earth, the raised area the waters and the higher matte areas the land and mountains.  It is “the earth in balance” as all three are connected.  The bowl is rounded on the bottom and there is an acrylic base which comes with the piece to hold it steady.  The bowl is signed on the bottom in the clay with Preston’s hallmark which is a woman carrying a child.  Preston is from Third Mesa at Hopi, and taught ceramics for years at Institute of American Indian Art (IAIA) in Santa Fe.

$ 900.00
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Navasie, Eunice “Fawn” – Small Jar with Geometrics

Eunice “Fawn” Navasie was a daughter-in-law of Paqua Naha and a sister-in-law of Joy “Frogwoman” Navasie.  This is one of her smaller jars.  It is polished red on the rim and the remainder is a white clay slip.  It is painted with a cloud, rain and checkerboard geometric pattern.  Eunice was known for her larger versions of this jar, which can be found in Arizona Highways.  Finding a smaller one with such intricate painting is unusual!  The jar is signed, “Fawn” on the bottom,  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 175.00 $ 150.00
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