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Zia PuebloZia Pottery

Zia Pottery - English Pronunciation: "Zee-ah." To anyone traveling along the road eighteen miles northwest of Bernalillo, New Mexico, Zia Pueblo is almost invisible. It is situated on a rocky knoll, where it blends into the landscape like a natural feature of the terrain. For six-hundred plus years it has weathered the worst that man and nature could inflict upon it --- and it has survived. Although the Pueblo itself is inconspicuous, its Sun symbol is familiar to all New Mexicans, for it is the official New Mexico State insignia appearing on the state flag and adopted by the New Mexico Legislature in its salute, “I salute the flag of New Mexico, the Zia symbol of perfect friendship among united cultures. Zia Pueblo suffered disasterous losses in the Pueblo Revolt. Six-hundred people were killed and additional conflicts lasting for years reduced the population still further. Prominent among Zia crafts is pottery, unpolished redware with white slip, with decorations in brown or black are produced often with a bird motif. The Zia tradition is faithfully adhered to; innovation is avoided. Some Zia painters have achieved recognition for their watercolors. The traditional language of the Zia Pueblo is Keresan.

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Medina, Sofia – Jar with Four Birds and Rainbows (1980’s)

Sofia Medina was known for traditional style of Zia pottery.  Each piece was coil built, painted with native clays and native fired.  This is an exceptional piece of her pottery in both form and design.  The jar has a high shoulder and a slight neck. There are two large sections, etch with a bird and flower in the center.  Over each bird is a rainbow and cloud designs.  Note how the red and tan areas are stone polished.  Separating the larger medallions are two very intricate medallions.  They have cloud pattern and rain designs with the bird in the center.  The jar is very tightly painted. Did you know that Zia potters use basalt as their temper for the clay, which gives these pieces their stability but also weight.  The jar is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the side, “Sofia Medina”.

$ 775.00
Medina, Elizabeth & Marcellus – Jar with 12 Birds

Elizabeth Medina is known for traditional style of Zia pottery.  Each piece is coil built, painted with native clays and native fired.  This jar was made by Elizabeth and painted by her husband, Marcellus Medina.  The jar is wonderfully designed with twelve birds.  Each bird is different and some are flying, some running and some standing.  They are all painted in the very traditional style of Zia Pueblo.  The different colors are all different clay slips.  There is something both charming and whimsical about each of the birds! The jar is slipped and polished with a red clay slip on the side and signed, “Elizabeth + Marcellus Medina, Zia”.

$ 225.00
Medina, Marcellus – Small Bowl with Zia Birds

Marcellus Medina is known for his painting on traditional style of Zia pottery.  Each piece is coil built, painted with native clays and native fired.  This small jar was made and painted by Marcellus Medina.  There are two very classic Zia birds on either side.  Each bird is painted with additional clay slips.  Separating the two birds are cloud and rain designs.  The bowl is traditionally fired and it is signed on the bottom, “M. Medina”.

$ 90.00
Medina, Elizabeth & Marcellus – Jar with Antelope, Deer and Lid

Elizabeth Medina is known for traditional style of Zia pottery.  Each piece is coil built, painted with native clays and native fired.  This jar was made by Elizabeth and painted by her husband, Marcellus Medina.  The jar is wonderfully designed with a traditional deer on one side and an antelope on the other.  The antelope is stone polished while the deer is matte.  The area between the animals very traditional old style Zia designs with cloud and plant designs.  Check out the wonderful curls and lines.  The lid is polished and there is a turtle.  The top of the turtle is painted with a bird design and flowers.  It is a wonderful combination of old style Zia designs.  The jar is signed on the side “Elizabeth + Marcellus Medina, Zia”.

$ 350.00
Medina, Elizabeth – Jar with Birds & Turtle Lid

Elizabeth Medina is known for traditional style of Zia pottery.  Each piece is coil built, painted with native clays and native fired.  Did you know that Zia potters mix volcanic basalt into their clay to give it strength? The surface of this jar is painted with a series of birds and roadrunners, which are often depicted on Zia pottery.  Here there are two large sections with birds, each highly detailed.  Separating them are two smaller bird medallions.  Note the hatchwork designs near the rim and the flower patterns.  There are three different colors used on the jar, a tan, red and a brown clay.  It is always more difficult to work in multiple colors of clay!  The lid of the jar has a turtle and the flat part of the lid is red, while the turtle has a bird on its back!  The jar is signed on the side, “Elizabeth Medina, Zia”.

$ 400.00
Medina, Marcellus – “Eagles” Jar (1984)

Marcellus Medina is known for contemporary painted pottery.  The jar is made by his wife, Elizabeth Medina.  Marcellus has painted on the surface with acrylic. The jar has an Eagle Dancer on each side.  Separating the two Dancers is a raincloud design on each side.  The painting on this piece is very detailed and there is dramatic motion depicted in both of the Eagle Dancers.  The jar is signed by both Marcellus and Elizabeth Medina on the bottom.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 200.00
Medina, Elizabeth & Marcellus – Jar w/Feather Design & Lid

Elizabeth Medina is known for traditional style of Zia pottery.  Each piece is coil built, painted with native clays and native fired.  This jar is painted by her husband, Marcellus Medina.  The jar has old-style Zia patterns with a rain design around the neck.  There are additional rain and cloud patterns around the shoulder and the center of the spirals has a feather pattern.  He has tightly painted the rain designs with fine-line patterns.  The turtle lid was painted by Elizabeth and has a classic Zia bird and plant designs.  The jar is signed on the side “Elizabeth + Marcellus Medina, Zia”.

$ 275.00
Medina, Elizabeth & Marcellus – Jar with Butterflies, Bird &  Turtle Lid

Elizabeth Medina is known for traditional style of Zia pottery.  Each piece is coil built, painted with native clays and native fired.  This jar was made and painted by Elizabeth Medina.  The jar has classic style birds as the design, along with plants and an old style hummingbird!  Each bird is surrounded by flowers and rain designs.  The red clay slip on the body of the bird is stone polished.  The top of the lid is polished red and there is an added turtle. The top of the turtle has flowers and a bird as the design.   The jar is signed on the side “Elizabeth Medina – Zia”

$ 400.00
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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.

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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

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“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
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