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

4.5"w x 3.75?h

$ 575.00

This is one of the earliest carved pieces we have had by Grace Medicine Flower.  It is from the 1960s.  Grace moved back to Santa Clara in the 1960s and began learning to make pottery from her father, Camilio Tafoya.  This bowl is one of her early shapes and you can see the puki (base) in which is what started as it created a sharp edge before the shoulder.  The bowl is carved with a water serpent (avanyu) as the design. The avanyu encircles the bowl and it is carved with feathers behind the head, much like the avanyu used by Camilio.  The bowl was fired a deep black.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Grace Medicine Flower”.  It is in very good 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