Lonewolf, Joseph – Plate with Avanyu and Lightning (1998)
This is a VERY unusual piece by Joseph Lonewolf. It is one of his few small plates and one he made in 1998 for our gallery show with him and his sister, Grace Medicine Flower. It is one of three small plates he made for the show. I remember him telling me that he had made over a dozen and only three of them turned out as they kept cracking in half when he would polish the surface. This piece is fully polished on the front with a feathered water serpent as the design. Note the use of both the large feathers and the very tiny feathers in the two separate spirals! Extending from the mouth of the avanyu is a lightning bolt and there is lightning extending along the rim. Note as well the raised bands around the edge of the plate. They are polished tan. The back of the plate is matte red. The piece is signed on the back in the clay, “Joseph Lonewolf”. It has his 1998 yearly symbol of two interlocking circles representing “attachment between friends”. It is in perfect condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. Simply a great piece of history and a definite rarity in his pottery!
“It gives me a funny feeling when people tell me I’ve done something brand new and different. I’ve just figured out all over again what potters did centuries ago. But it is NOT new as people like to say it is. Such colors were achieved in pre-history times by my ancestors. I regard the Mimbres as my ancestors. Though I refine their designs, each design must have meaning for me. In my dreams I see how to use the design, how to make the pot happen. Then when I work the clay, everything flows. Some people wonder why I keep changing styles, colors, forms. But I can’t just sit there and make pots. Like any artist I must try different things, different techniques. I must meet the challenge with my hands. The patterns and the methods I see in my mind during my dreams.” Joseph Lonewolf, “Spoken Through Clay”