Medicine Flower, Grace – Basket Weave Double Sided Plate (2001)
Grace Medicine Flower remains renown for her innovative and creative pottery. This is one of her dynamic “basket weave” pieces. She only made the basket-weave pieces for a few years before moving on to the polychrome pottery. The concept behind these pieces was for them to appear as if the clay had fallen away and there was a woven basket underneath. The basket areas are carved vertically, incised horizontally and then painted with a clay slip. This plate has a central medallion which is fully polished red. It is etched with two butterflies. Surrounding the medallion is a series of etched and painted rows which create the basket. In this case, she has replicated a Navajo wedding basket as the design. After it is fully etched it is then incised and then painted with different clay slips. Amazingly, the back is also fully designed with a carved water serpent (avanyu) as the design. The avanyu is slipped with mica. The piece is signed on the back in the clay, “Grace Medicine Flower”. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. Grace made very few plates during her career, which makes this an exceptional piece both in creativity and historically!