Qoyawayma, Al – Mesa Verde Architectural Jar with Spiral Staircase (2023)

14"w x 10"h

$ 15,000.00

This is a spectacular architectural piece from Al Qoyawayma.  It is one of his pieces from his “Mesa Verde” series.  The oval area is pushed into the clay and then the building is pushed back out from the inside of the bowl.  Beyond the technical, this large bowl has a very intricate designed Mesa Verde series of buildings.  There is a large square tower in the background along with five other buildings and doorways.  In front of the towers are two kivas. The kivas are round ceremonial rooms built into the ground.  Both have ladders.  There is a spiraling stairway that extends down from the tower to the front of the kiva.  Off to the side is a “wall” that extends out onto the side of the jar!  There is more time involved to create this complicated addition to the bowl and not have it crack in drying or firing.  The bricks are designed on all sides of the tower, and even the walls of the buildings!  All the “bricks” are etched into the clay and then slipped with clay for coloration.  Al has also made small wooden vigas that are added to the piece after the firing. The bowl itself is vertically polished in an “onion skin” vertical manner in the style of historical pottery.    The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Al Qoyawayma”.  It is always exciting to see how Al will continue to evolve one of his most iconic vessels.

Al wrote of this piece:

This is one of my pieces from my “Mesa Verde” series, a “1/2 Arch Mesa Verde”.  The concave oval area is pushed into the Hopi clay vase using the repoussé technique and then the buildings are pushed back out from the inside of the bowl, no clay added except parapets and freestanding walls. This 1/2 arch architecture includes a large tower in the center. What is unique is the wall structures on the outside vase surface….likely one of a kind feature in the Native American pottery world. Then there are two kivas. The kivas are round ceremonial rooms built into the ground. All the stonework is individually carved or “inscribed” on the damp clay surface, allowed to partially dry, and then “scraped”. The final slipping on the stonework is 6 layers of color. The overall piece is a buff-yellow stone polished surface with native clays and mica.