Duwyenie, Preston – Shifting Sand Seedpot with Silver Insets and Silver Cloud Lid
Preston Duwyenie is known for his Hopi pottery which blends modern and traditional aspects of the art. This is the first time we have had this particular combination of designs from Preston. The seedpot is tall and is made from white clay that he finds near Second Mesa at Hopi. The body of the piece is fully polished. Around the center are three sections that are etched to have a shifting sand design. The shifting sand design is carved into the clay so that it has a very natural appearance. What makes the sand area so fascinating is how he carves it so that it has a very natural appearance. What works so well is that it flows around the entire surface, just as if the clay has been swept away. Separating them are three sections with inset pieces of silver that have a similar “shifting sand” appearance. They are sterling silver and cast against cuttlefish bone. The lid is also silver and has the sand design on both sides from the cuttlefish bone casting. It is cut into the shape of a cloud. The polished and matte surfaces, along with the silver and shifting sand areas, give this piece a dramatic appearance! 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”.