Duwyenie, Preston – Large Black Shifting Sand Jar with Silver Rising Moon Lid
This is a large wide jar by Preston Duwyenie. It is made from Hopi clay and then slipped with mica on the base and rim. The shoulder of the jar is carved in a natural manner to represent the sand in the desert and its constant movement. The “sand” sections are matte in contrast with the micaceous surfaces. The shape of the jar works perfectly for this design, as it is not flat but has a round rise to the rim which perfectly shows off the shifting sand design. The entire piece is then fired black and the result is stunning! The micaceous areas are almost metallic in appearance. The matte is a perfect contrast. The lid is a “rising moon” over the desert. It is silver and cast against cuttle-fish bone (a type of squid). This process creates a similar style of shifting sand design to complement the clay. The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay with Preston’s hallmark which is a woman carrying a child as the hallmark for his name in Hopi. Preston is from Third Mesa at Hopi and taught ceramics for years at the Institute of American Indian Art (IAIA) in Santa Fe.
“Why the shifting sand designs? Preston says he remembers watching a smooth pebble caught in sand being shifted by the wind, “there was beauty in its isolation within the sea of sand. It was like an island. The endless sands of time, and the fact that people, too are tossed about by the wind. There is always rippling in our lives”.