Borts-Medlock, Autumn – “Sky Through the Clouds” Large Jar with Clouds and Birds
6"w x 9"h
WOW! THis is an amazing jar by Autumn Borts-Medlock. She is known for her often fancifully carved pottery. This piece is entitled, “Sky through the Clouds”. It is a large jar that is fully carved. The rim is carved in an asymmetric manner, reflecting the movement of the clouds. What is so amazing on this jar is how Autumn carved the clouds. They are large areas where she has carved small circles and arcs into the clay to give the clouds both texture and additional “movement”. There are also sections that are stippled to create more texture on the surface of the jar. There are three large birds carved into the clay. They are polished tan and she has etched designs into the bodies of each bird! Near the base are the carved cliffs. The flow and free-form designs on the jar are wonderfully carved, polished, and slipped by Autumn. 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! 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.”