Duwyenie, Preston – “Rain Cloud Over the Desert” Shifting Sand Jar with Silver Lid
Preston Duwyenie is known for his Hopi pottery which blends modern and traditional aspects of the art. This seedpot is made from red clay which he finds at Hopi. The clay fired a orange-red coloration. This piece is entitled, “Rain Cloud over the Desert”. The body of the piece is fully polished. The top area above the shoulder has a shifting sand design. What makes the sand area so fascinating is how he carves it so that it has very natural appearance. It flows around the entire surface, just as if the clay has been swept away. The top view of the piece shows the design nicely and the shadows the design creates. The lid is made from silver and cast against cuttlefish bone. Preston cut the lid so that it has the shape of a traditional Hopi cloud. The casting creates a similar style of ‘shifting sand’ design to complement the clay areas! The seedpot and the silver lid are signed on the bottom with Preston’s hallmark which is a woman carrying a child and his Hopi name, which means “carried in beauty”. Preston is from Second 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”.