Borts-Medlock, Autumn – “Bird Songs” Large 9″ Tall Polychrome Water Jar
6.75"w x 9"h
This is a large and fully carved jar by Autumn Borts-Medlock. She is known for her often fancifully carved pottery. This piece is entitled, “Bird Songs”. It is a large jar that is fully carved. The jar is a round shape that creates a lot of carved volume. The neck extends outward and creates the clouds that spiral downward. Note the numerous levels of carving for the clouds! On one side there are two birds flying among the clouds. They are deeply carved and polished red and matte. Autumn has created an amazing layering of designs so that the clouds even overlap the bird wings! As the jar is turned, there are two birds sitting on a branch. One is polished tan and the other red. They are highlighted with white clay and have turquoise insets for the eyes. They are surrounded by flowers. The flowers are both polished and matte. Once again they overlap and create more depth and dimension to the pottery. Few Pueblo potters have Autumn’s gifts for carving into so many layers! Near the base are deeply carved lightning, cloud, and prayer feather designs. It is a striking piece in form, design, and color. Autumn said she wanted to use the clay to give them a sense of motion in both colors and in her carving. The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Autumn Borts-Medlock”.
“These pieces were inspired by watching the clouds at Puye Cliffs (the ancestral home of the Santa Clara people) and at the Pueblo. I wanted to carve into the clay to create multiple layers on each piece. More importantly, I wanted to create a sense of movement. I did this through both colorations of the clouds and layers of carving. The cloud colorations combine several colors of clay and are meant to appear as if they are moving and you can see through them. The birds are captured in flight, amongst the clouds and the cliffs.”