Medicine Flower, Grace – Polychrome Jar with Four Deer and Swirl Melon Ribs (1997)
This is an unusual jar by Grace Medicine Flower. She remains renown for her creative pottery. This jar has an interesting story. When I had my first gallery show with her in 1997, this was the very first piece she sent to me and our first one to sell. It was her first departure into carved and polychrome style pottery which would then be indicative of her later work. This jar has four deer, which are deeply carved into the clay. Note that each deer is one level of carving further back so that a subtle sense of perspective is created! They are highlighted with three different clay slips. As the jar is turned there are 12 sharply carved melon ribs which swirl down from the neck to the base. They are slipped with a micaceous clay. The jar has both a modernist feel and yet it is founded in traditional clay and Santa Clara style designs. The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Grace Medicine Flower”. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. I think over 20 years later, it is still quite wonderful to see it again!
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