Borts-Medlock, Autumn – Black Carved Clay Parrot with Cloud Designs

5.5" long x 3.75"h

$ 4,900.00

The effigy parrots by Autumn Borts-Medlock have certainly become a signature piece of her pottery.  The parrots are coil-built and then carved and stone polished.  This clay parrot is made in the style of the ancient effigy ones found at Chaco Canyon.  It is a bowl with a bird’s head, body, and tail. The piece is carved with swirling clouds for the wings.  They are accented with incised areas as well as micaceous bands.  The piece is highly polished and even the beak is fully polished, which is more time-consuming and difficult.  The piece was traditionally fired to a glassy black.  The piece is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Autumn Borts-Medlock”.

So, why so many parrots on Pueblo and Hopi pottery?   In the pre-contact era, there was a small parrot that was indigenous to the southwest area.  As well, parrot feathers were traded with Central American tribes and were highly valued. Today there are Parrot Clans at Hopi and parrot feathers are used throughout the Pueblo world in various ceremonies and dances.  So, it is not unexpected to see parrots featured on pottery from the various pueblos and Hopi.  They are certainly part of the cultural and historic background of these amazing potters!