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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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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 – Cliff Dwelling and Bird Figure Serenity Jar

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 an abstract Hopi style bird on one side.  It has various layers of carving which give added depth to the design. 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 “key hole” opening.   All the various colors are derived from native clays.   It is a classic piece with a striking balance of designs and form.

$ 3,900.00
Qoyawayma, Al – Double Lobe Jar with Various Doorways & Lid

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 polished.  It is the center section which is fascinating with four different styles of pueblo doorways!  Each of these are each carved into the clay and note the detail on the walls.  The color variations is created using various clay slips.  Al’s architectural pieces are among his most iconic works!

$ 7,500.00
Qoyawayma, Al – Polycrome Triangular Box

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.  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!

$ 11,700.00
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
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 carved areas areas are also polished, which is striking with the this carving of some of the sections!  The ends are carved and 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.

$ 9,500.00
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.

 

$ 1,500.00
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
Duwyenie, Debra & Preston – Seedpot with Hummingbirds, Sun & Silver 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 is a larger piece for Debra and amazingly complicated with its designs!  The matte red areas are parts of the design in which the polished slip is scratched away leaving the matte red.  Note in the tan area of the background that more deeply incised lines.  The complexity of the design is amazing on this piece, especially how the flowers and bird wings all seem to interconnect!  There are birds and flower across the entire surface of the piece. On one side is a sun or Tewa design with the surrounding feather pattern and the opposite has a rainbow.  The lid is made by Preston Duwyenie.  It is silver cast against cuttlefish bone to create the design.  The bottom of the silver lid and the bottom of the seedpot are both signed.  It is stunning in the complexity, polishing and complement of the lid with the imagery on the piece!

$ 1,100.00
Duwyenie, Debra & Preston – Seedpot with Turtles and Silver 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 a feather pattern on the top. There are various fish and  turtles as the design below.  Each of the turtles has a different design on the back.  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.  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.  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.

$ 950.00
Duwyenie, Preston – “Three Maiden” Double Shoulder Water Jar

Stunning!  This is an exquisite water jar by Preston Duwyenie.  The water jar is made from micaceous clay and slipped with a micaceos clay mixed with red Santa Clara clay.  The coloration is a striking red with the sparkle of the mica. The water jar has a double shoulder and a fluted or “Rain drop” rim. The undulating shape of the rim is always technically difficult to create. The jar has six inset piece of silver, each cast from cuttlefish bone. The silver pieces are inset into the jar after the firing and represent three maidens with tablitas on their heads. The area around the silver pieces are lightly etched with additional designs.  The angles created by the shape of the jar along with the color of the clay and the complement of the mica and silver give the jar its stunning appearance!  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.

$ 3,300.00
Qoyawayma, Al – “Cosmos” Polychrome Lidded Jar

This wide vessel by Al Qoyawayma is entitled, “Cosmos”.  Al writes:

The inspiration for this pottery design is from a unique kiva mural found at Pottery Mound near Albuquerque. These murals vividly reflect Hopi/Sikyatki designs.  The Pottery Mound reflects interaction with Central American cultures and cosmology.  The mural commemorates an ancient celestial event(s) often associated with Quetzalcoatl and meso-american cosmology. One of the most valuable ancient artifacts curated in the NMAI collections is a Mixtec shield which reflects the patterns in recent physics discovery, patterns even recorded in today’s Hubble photos.  A real event occurred several thousand years ago most like a super intense aurora, the likes of which we have not seen in recorded history.  What was recorded and memorialized in petroglyphs, murals, sculptural creations and cultural artifacts that agree with recent high energy laboratory experiments (at Los Alamos) that have defined a new page in modern physics. This phenomenon (or has been consistently recorded world wide in prehistory, notably at Stonehedge and on the Nazca Plain, which I call the “28-56 phenomenon”.

The modern discovery in physics is called a “Z-pinch” (a potential point of star creation) which is a visible high energy plasma event.  It is the generation of circular electrical and magnetic fields that among other things visibly exhibit a numerical reduction pattern of 128, 56, 28, 14, 7, 4 which are exhibited in antiquities such as Al Qöyawayma’s Mixtec shield and Cosmos vessel.  It is hypothesized  that creation of this condition has been generated by strong emissions from the sun interacting with the Earth’s magnetic field, far beyond that commonly observed as an aurora.

Conclusion: This art memorializes in cultural context what my ancient ancestors saw and accurately recorded. That recording agrees with recent scientific discovery in high energy physics. In time this discovery will change our understanding of the universe.

The top of the jar is fully carved and the designs extends into the lid.  The various colors are all derived from natural 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.

$ 17,000.00
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 Third Mesa at Hopi, and taught ceramics for years at Institute of American Indian Art (IAIA) in Santa Fe.e.

$ 1,500.00
Sale!
Ami, Dorothy – Large Jar 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 $ 1,100.00
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
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!
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
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
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