Duwyenie, Preston – Shifting Sand Plate with Two Silver Insets
This plate by Preston Duwyenie is made from white Hopi clay found near Third Mesa at Hopi. The back of the plate is stone polished and the front is carved to have the appearance of “shifting sand”. The sand design has an organic and natural flow to each ribbon of sand, giving the appearance of them flowing across the surface. On this plate, each of the bands is very tightly carved against the next, which creates a very striking appearance. I photographed the plate with a half-turn, which shows off how each line of sand has a different shadow as the piece is turned. There are two square inset pieces of silver on one side. Each piece of silver is cast from cuttlefish bone. The textured surface of the silver is similar to that of the surface of the plate. The plate is signed on the back in the clay with Preston’s hallmark which is a woman carrying a child, which comes from Preston’s Hopi name, which means “carried in beauty”. 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”.