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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 & Lois Medina – Four Color Stoarge Jar with Birds & Rainbows

Sofia Medina and her daughter Lois Medina were known for a traditional style of Zia pottery.  Each piece was coil built, painted with native clays and native fired.  This is jar is striking in design and a very classic Zia shape with the high shoulder and slight neck.  The jar has two large sections with birds and very complex double rainbow band.  Separating each of the rainbow bands are small cloud designs.  The bird is surrounded by complex rain and flower designs.  The opposite sides have large birds with a single rainbow band and flower patterns.  Note how the rainbow bands are stone polished areas!  There are equally complex variations of fine-line and hatchtwork patterns.  Did you know that Zia potters use volcanic basalt as their temper for the clay, which gives these pieces their stability but also weight.  The jar is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the side, “Sofia & Lois Medina”.

$ 2,800.00
Gachupin, Candelaria – Jar with Birds (1976)

Candelaria Gachupin was a granddaughter of noted potter Rosalea Toribio and the daughter of Maria Bridgett. She taught both her daughter Dora Tse-Pe and son-in-law Ralph Aragon to make pottery.  This jar was originally purchased in 1976.   Candelaria was known for her stylized birds, which have long legs and are a visual “signature” to her pottery.  This jar has three sections of birds with plants, separated by a polished red lightning band.  Around the neck is a could pattern.  We do not often see a lot of her pottery but there is certainly a striking appearance to her designs. This jar is signed on the side, “Candelaria Gachupin, Zia Pueblo”.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the side, “Sofia & Lois Medina”.

$ 450.00
Medina, Elizabeth – Jar with Old Style Birds, Flowers and Lid

Elizabeth Medina is known for traditional style of Zia pottery.  Each piece is coil built, painted with native clays and native fired.  The designs on this jar harken back to early Zia pottery with the hatchwork, prayer feathers and circles.  There are two larger birds on the sides of the jar.  They are slipped with a tan clay.  Separating them are two smaller birds, also in tan.  Surrounding the smaller birds are cloud, rain and prayer feather designs.  The deeper red areas are both matte and polished.  The jar is complex with the variations of matte and polished surfaces.  The top of the lid is polished red while the turtle is added and slipped tan.  There is a polished and painted bird and flowers on the top.  The jar is signed on the side “Elizabeth Medina, Zia”.

$ 475.00
Medina, Elizabeth – Jar with Birds, Flowers & 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 is painted in a traditional style with a bird or roadrunner on each side.  The birds are each different with variations in the wings and tails.  The bodies are stone polished with clay slips. Around the neck of the jar is a rain and cloud pattern.  Separating the birds are intricately painted flowers with complex hatchwork areas.  The jar is complex with the variations of matte and polished surfaces.  The top of the lid is polished red while the turtle is added and slipped tan.  There is a polished and painted bird and flowers on the top.  The jar is signed on the side “Elizabeth Medina, Zia.

$ 325.00
Medina, Elizabeth – Jar with Three Birds & Flowers

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? This jar has a low shoulder and it is painted with three birds. Each bird is different in body style, wings and color.  Separating each bird is a large flower.  Each flower has polished petals.  Around the neck is a intricately painted rain design.  It is a very intricately painted jar for the size.  The jar is signed on the bottom, “Elizabeth Medina, Zia”.

$ 125.00
Medina, Sofia & Lois Medina – Jar with Hummingbirds & Clouds

Sofia Medina and her daughter Lois Medina were known for traditional style of Zia pottery.  Each piece was coil built, painted with native clays and native fired.  This is jar is striking in design and a very classic Zia shape with the high shoulder and slight neck.  The jar has an intricate cloud and rain design around the neck.  Around the side of the jar it is very intricately painted with a stylized hummginbird, flower and plant patterns.  This is an unusual bird style for them with the intricately painted wings of the hummingbirds, which are then slipped with clay to create the coloration.  Note as well the use of the hatchwork designs which are very tightly painted.  Did you know that Zia potters use volcanic basalt as their temper for the clay, which gives these pieces their stability but also weight.  The jar is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the side, “Sofia & Lois Medina”.

$ 900.00
Medina, Sofia – Jar with Zia Birds

Sofia Medina was known for her traditional style of Zia pottery.  Each piece was coil built, painted with native clays and native fired.  This is jar is striking in design and a very classic Zia shape with the high shoulder and slight neck.  The jar has a rainbow design which is polished and below it on each side is a Zia bird. The birds are polished.  Under the rainbow are cloud and plant designs.  It is a complex pattern of design.  On the sides separating the two birds there is a very intricate butterfly pattern made up of rain and cloud motifs.  It is unusual to see their work with such complicated patterns!  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 very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the side, “Sofia Medina”.

$ 1,200.00
Medina, Sofia & Lois Medina – Four Color Jar with Deer & Birds

Sofia Medina and her daughter Lois Medina were known for traditional style of Zia pottery.  Each piece was coil built, painted with native clays and native fired.  This is jar is exception in the form and the painting.  The jar is painted on two sections with a rainbow design and below the rainbow is a deer. The rainbow and the deer are polished with two different colored clays.  Note the leaves over the back of the deer and there are two different colors of clay in each leaf!  The area around the deer has thinly painted lines.  Separating the deer are two sections of large birds.  Each bird is surrounded by plant designs along with cloud patterns. 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 very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is signed on the side, “Sofia & Lois Medina”.  Not just a classic piece of their pottery, but outstanding in size, design and color as well!

$ 2,200.00
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, 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, 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
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

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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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