Borts-Medlock, Autumn – “Clouds over the Cliffs” Jar with Birds and Clouds
5.5"w x 4.5"h
Autumn Borts-Medlock is known for her often fancifully carved pottery. This piece is entitled, “Clouds over the Cliffs”. It is a striking jar with a wide shoulder and a carved rim. The jar is carved of almost FIVE different layers! The clouds undulate around the surface of the piece. They are interspersed with three carved birds. Each bird is polished tan. Below the birds are the cliffs of Puye, the ancestral Tewa village located near Santa Clara Pueblo. The cliffs are both carved and slipped with mica. Note how the clouds are carved at various levels! Autumn used a micaceous black/gray clay slip for the background area where it is carved away. The coloration almost looks like the sky seen through the clouds! The clouds combine both carved and stippled areas. They are sipped with matte white clay. Autumn said she wanted to use the clay to give them a sense of motion in both colors and in her carving. The bowl 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.”