Borts-Medlock, Autumn – “Cloud Messenger” Tall Cloud Jar
5.5"w x 9.75"h
WOW! This is an exceptional jar by Autumn Borts-Medlock. She is known for her often fancifully carved pottery. This piece is entitled, “Cloud Messenger”. It is a large jar that is fully carved. The neck is carved into cloud shapes and the layer one upon another down the side of the jar. The clouds are slipped with white clay. The carving of the layers of the white clay is exceptional. On one side there is a carved dragonfly with tan polished wings. The dragonfly is the “cloud messenger”. Near the base are VERY deeply carved rain, lightning, and prayer feather designs. As the jar is turned, there are intricately carved cornstalks. Again, they are polished tan, which is always the most difficult polishing technique in Santa Clara pottery. Note the overlapping of the leaves and the depth of the carving. Autumn has added additional clay slips for the corn and on the dragonfly. The adds to the overall dramatic impact of the jar. Autumn said she wanted to use the clay to give them a sense of motion in both colors and in her carving. The kar 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.”