Medicine Flower, Grace – Bowl with Carved Avanyu (1960s)

4.75"w x 4"h

$ 475.00

This is an unusual carved bowl by Grace Medicine Flower.  It is from the late 1960s.  Grace moved back to Santa Clara in the 1960s and began learning to make pottery from her father, Camilio Tafoya.  This bowl is coil-bulit and deeply carved.  What is unusual is that the avanyu is carved in reverse or in the negative space of the bowl!  It is more time-consuming to carve in this manner, which is not often done, but the result is striking.  Here the avanyu encircles the bowl and the remainder is fully polished.  It was fired a deep black coloration.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Grace Medicine Flower”.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks restoration, or repair.

Grace said of her early pottery:

“In 1961, my late husband Jack (Hoover) and I moved back to the pueblo to take care of my dad, Camilio. He was still making pottery then, and he said, “Well, make a few pieces.” I didn’t really want to. But once I started that was it. He said, “Once you pick the Clay Lady up, if she chooses you, then you will be doing it.”  The clay, that’s the most important. The first time I went up to get the clay was 1963 or so. The clay is near the pueblo. My dad said, “Before you get the Clay Lady, you have to say your prayers with your cornmeal. Never get her until you pray and then you start digging.” He said that once you pick her up to start forming her you have to say your prayers.” Grace Medicine Flower, Spoken Through Clay