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Hopi Pottery

The Hopi Reservation located in northeastern Arizona, and is surrounded by the Navajo Reservation. Hopi consists of three Mesas, and each Mesa has several villages. Modern Hopi pottery makers created their artworks in the traditional manner.  The clay is collected from the Hopi mesas then kneaded and processed by hand.  The pots are 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 free hand using a yucca leaf brush. The pots are then fired in the open air out on the mesa using sheep dung and cedar as a heat source.

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Ami, Dorothy – Bowl with Bats

Dorothy Ami is known for her traditional style of Hopi pottery.  This bowl is painted with a series of bats which extend around the top of the bowl.  Note that there are different designs on the wings of each bat.  As well, the colors of the bat wings are derived from natural clay slips.  The black is from bee-weed (a plant).  The bowl has been traditionally fired to create the various blushes on the surface.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay.

$ 500.00
Ami, Dorothy – Large Jar with Hopi Birds

Dorothy Ami is a cousin of noted potter Mark Tahbo. This is one of her larger jars.  It is intricately painted with a series of Hopi birds encircling the piece.  The top and bottom have triangular geometric patterns. The birds are painted with red, burdundy and while clay slips. The black is bee-weed (a plant).  The large size and the dynamic designs flow beautifully on the surface of this piece!  It has been traditionally fired so there are blushes on the surface. It is signed on the bottom in the clay.

$ 1,400.00
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 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 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 excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 975.00
Sale!
Begaye, Nathan – Tile with Polychrome Lizard

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 tile is from 2000 and was made for a “Hopi Tile” show that we had here the gallery.  The lizard is painted on a polished white clay surface and the colors are all natural clay slips.  The black is bee-weed and note the tightly painted fineline designs. Nathan used a piece from a broken vessel to create this “shard” which he wanted to look like an ancient piece that had just been found.  There is a little bit of wear on the black and some minor spalling, which adds to the feel of the piece being “old”.  Note on the back the rust colored area below the signature, that was where he put some caliche clay he found here in AZ and he wanted to see what color it would fire.

$ 600.00 $ 400.00
Duwyenie, Debra & Preston – Seedpot with Quail, Turtles and Quail Lid

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 seedpot has quail, flowers and hummingbirds on the top half of the piece. There is also a sun design.  On the bottom is a water serpent along with fish and seven turtles.   Each of the turtles has a different design on the back of its shell. Note the one with the wavy lines, that one is meant to represent Preston Duwyenie, her husband, who is known for his “shifting sand” pottery. There is a lot going on for such a small piece! 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 lid is made by her husband Preston.  It is case from cuttlefish bone and cast in silver and cut in the shape of a quail.  It has the same “shifting sand” style pattern as the back of the one turtle. The bottom of the lid is stamped with Preston’s hallmark.

$ 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 make the lid to fit perfectly 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”.  Preston is from Second 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.

$ 500.00
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 Second Mesa at Hopi, and taught ceramics for years at Institute of American Indian Art (IAIA) in Santa Fe.

$ 900.00
Duwyenie, Preston – Red Bowl with Shifting Sands

This piece by Preston Duwyenie is made from red Hopi clay.  It is matte and carved with three sections of “shifting sand” design.  The pattern is carved into the clay so that it has a very organic and realistic appearance.  There is a single inset piece of coral.  His designs are rooted in centuries old legends of the earth’s creation, of how time began, and of how it passes. His shifting sands series integrates ceramic and often metal, reflecting one moment in time for the artist. 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”.  The bowl is signed on the bottom in the clay with Preston’s hallmark which is a woman carrying a child.  Preston is from Second Mesa at Hopi, and taught ceramics for years at Institute of American Indian Art (IAIA) in Santa Fe.

$ 700.00
Duwyenie, Preston – Shifting Sand Design Jar with Silver

Preston Duwyenie is know for his Hopi pottery which blends modern and traditional aspects of the art. This jar is made from a white clay which he finds near Second Mesa at Hopi.  The body of the piece is fully polished.  The top area above the shoulder has the shifting sand design is carved into the clay so that it have a very natural appearance.  What makes the sand area so fascinating is how he carves it so that it has very natural apperance.  Separating each of the three panels are rectangular sections, each with a single inset piece of silver, which Preston casts from cuttle-fish bone (a type of squid).  The casting creates a a similar style of ‘shifting sand’ design to complement the clay areas!  The thin walls of the bowl, the organic feel of the shifting sand and the strength of the silver insets are perfect on this piece.  The piece is signed on the bottom with is hallmark signed on the bottom in the clay with Preston’s hallmark which is a woman carrying a child and his Hopi name, which means “carried in beauty”.   Preston is from Second 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”.

$ 1,600.00
Duwyenie, Preston – White Shifting Sands Plate with Coral

This piece by Preston Duwyenie is made from white Hopi clay found near Third Mesa at Hopi.  The clay is stone polished and when fired has an eggshell white appearance.  The back of the plate is polished and the front is carved to have the appearance of shifting sands.  There is a single inset piece of coral within the bands of the sand design.  The plate is signed on the back in the clay with Preston’s hallmark which is a woman carrying a child.  Preston is from Second Mesa at Hopi, and taught ceramics for years at Institute of American Indian Art (IAIA) in Santa Fe.

$ 300.00
Duwyenie, Preston – White Shoulder Jar with Silver Inset

This piece by Preston Duwyenie is made from white Hopi clay found near Third Mesa at Hopi.  The clay is stone polished and when fired has an eggshell white appearance.  There is a single piece if inset silver on the top of the shoulder.  The silver is meant to represent the shifting sands around Hopi.  It is cast against cuttle-fish bone (a type of squid).  This process creates a similar style of shifting sand design to complement the clay.  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 Second Mesa at Hopi, and taught ceramics for years at Institute of American Indian Art (IAIA) in Santa Fe.e.

$ 1,500.00
Kahe, Val – Mini Bowl with Bird Design

Val Kahe is a daughter of noted potter Gloria Kahe.  This is one of her very intricately painted miniatures. The fine lines and detail are exceptional!  The bowl has an Awatovi kiva mural style bird on one side. The remainder is painted with cloud, rain and lightning designs.  The piece has been traditionally fired to create the fire clouds.  It is signed on the bottom.

$ 150.00
Namoki, Lawrence – Masau Katsina & Bird Seedpot

Lawrence Namoki has been known for a variety of styles in his pottery. While he began with deep carved pottery today he is creating delicately painted vessels.  This piece is entitled, “Ngmoki” which is the Hopi spelling of his name, which means “medicine”.  The seedpot is designed as a healing or medicine bowl. There is an inset piece of turquoise on the top with bird, bear paw, feather and katsina designs painted on the sides. The seedpot is a narrow and tall shape, which makes it distinctive in form.  Note the very delicate and intricate painting on the two katsina figures, both of which are Masau.  These painted designs are striking on the black polished surface.

$ 400.00
Nampeyo, Gary Polacca – Bowl with Butterflies & Butterfly Katsina

Gary Polacca Nampeyo is known for his deeply carved pottery.  This flat bowl is carved with three medallions.  Two of the medallions have butterflies and the third has a palik or butterfly katsina.  The remainder of the piece is painted with corn and pottery shard designs.  There is also tactile aspect to this jar with the depth of the various carvings. It is signed on the bottom in the clay.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  There is some wear near the rim.

$ 350.00
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
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 – 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 – Stylized Dragonfly Jar with Lid

This jar is an classic shape for Al Qoyawayma.  The jar has a high round shoulder.  The entire piece is fully polished tan with one carved area of design. The image is a stylized mosquito, inpsired by the designs painted on the Kiva Murals and pre-historic pottery throughout the Southwest.  Note the various levels of carving on this piece and the four directional symbolism in the center of the figure.  All the various colorations are natural clay slips which are matte and polished.  The lid adds to the overall symmetry and elegance of the jar.  It is a stunning piece with a simplicity in form but complexity in the design.

$ 4,300.00
Setalla, Dee – Wide Bowl with Bird Patterns

Dee Setalla is a son of noted potter Pauline Setalla.  This is a wide shoulder bowl which is fully polished . The design is a series of birds and bird wing patterns which are painted around the shoulder.  Dee paints with a very bold flare to his designs. The piece has a nice coloration from the traditional firing.

$ 600.00
White, Elizabeth “Polingaysi Qooyawayma”  – Jar with Double Corn

Elizabeth White created distinctive pottery using the various colors of Hopi clay. 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 classic pieces with two ears of corn.  The coloration of the clay is the distinctive and much sought after “mauve”.  The entire piece is stone polished to a high shine except for the two ears of corn which are unpolished matte.  The narrow shape is very much like the jars that her nephew Al Qoyawayma makes which he calls “wish pots”.  He tells the story that the name comes from Elizabeth as she said people would look at the pieces and say, “I wish I could have one”.  This jar 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!

$ 1,200.00
White, Elizabeth “Polingaysi Qoyawayma”  – 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
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