Qoyawayma, Al – Mesa Verde Architectural Jar with Two Kivas (2021)

12"w x 8"h

$ 13,000.00

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.  In the last photo, you can see one of these pieces in the process when Al was doing a demo at our Scottsdale gallery.  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.  What is unique to this jar is the raised tower to the far left side.  This tower extends up from the last of the buildings and there is a window looking through the top. 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”, 12” in diameter. 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 on the right with smaller buildings to the left. 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.