This is the largest platter we have had in our gallery. It is stunning. Debbie explained to me that “all the designs in the middle represent all traditions of the Hopi. Yellow for sun, spots for rain, and the rain for Kivas and our mesa. The bird like end is for all the birds we use here in Hopi. I call the whole design “Night Prayers of the Hopi,” The dragon flies and symbols represent the stars and corn.” So difficult to fire this size plate outside, you can see the firing blue tint elements on the backside of the plate.
We are so pleased to add Debbie to our group of Hopi potters at Native American Collections.
I am so pleased with the continued excellence in Madeline’s work. She is working on shapes, forms, sizes, and storytelling. Each piece is so carefully designed. This new jar is superior. It is called “Feast Day Preparations” as she relates the events with her grandmother and the children and grandchildren as they prepare for their big celebration. They are getting their belts, and headdresses, and tying the laces. She told me how they get the belt on as tight as possible. Laughing, she said “beauty is pain!” Feast day is such a wonderful day for the Pueblos and the families involved. To see it depicted on clay is marvelous. Hand coiled, traditionally fired outdoors, slipped and carved – this is a real beauty.
I love it when an artist really likes their finished creation, and Jody really loved this jar and thought I’d love it too. She was right!! The tall and deep shape is terrific with a wide “canvas” area where the incising and story can be shown. It is a hand coiled and incised jar, traditionally fired outside. She has entitled it “Shared Stories” It shows two girlfriends (herself and our friend, Glendora) as they meet for coffee to discuss their dreams and ideas. You can see fish, turtles, birds, butterflies, deer, horses, ram, dragonflies and more! It is both whimsical and sophisticated at the same time. The top area has curved and linear brown and tan polished lines leading up to a squared off opening. It is a stunning example of her work, when the designs simply flow. This is unmistakably a unique creation by JODY !
This new jar by Russell is so beautiful in every way. The shape is terrific. Notice how the narrow bottom balances with the same size opening on the top. The waterfall gourd impressed lip is remarkable. So symmetrical and so hard to polish! There are five strands of embedded heishi on the jar as well as his trademark incised dots. A beautiful avanyu (water serpent) flows around the entire jar. Russell has used high grade Kingman turquoise for the eye. The little touches of turquoise heishi really sets off the beautiful blue coloring of the eye. This particular heishi was made by Joe and Mary Calabaza, who sadly, have passed away. This new piece is absolutely stunning.
This is a very large hand coiled and traditionally fired bowl by Rainy Naha. Her designs are painted using natural clay slips. Her mother, Helen Naha, was well known for painting this particular pattern referred to as the Awatovi star pattern. Awatovi is one of the ruins near Hopi where a white slipped style of pottery was made. The bowl has the Awatovi star painted on the top and the bottom of the piece. On the top the star is surrounded by cloud swirls. On the bottom are river designs. It is tightly painted using bee-weed (black) on a white kaolin clay surface. Rainy signs on the bottom with the traditional feather hallmark used by her mom and then adds her first name. This wide bowl shows detail, precision, sharp lines, and thin walls. It is beautiful and classic.
Stunning! The way Steve uses the clay as a canvas for his painted imagery is so beautiful. His lines are so straight, and his imagery is clean and detailed. The polychrome tones of black, red, brown and tan are so well painted. There is a black border that goes around the bowl underneath the painted designs. The plain polished bottom is elegant and is a great compliment to the plain polished opening. The shape is wonderful. The width of the bowl makes it feel so full with good height as well. This piece is such a beauty! Steve has signed his name on the bottom, with an ear of corn (representing the Corn Clan) and the Mudhead Katsina (Koyemsi)
This new jar is magnificent. The detailed incised symbols and designs are so precise. Swimming fish, circles, four directions, wings, spirals, floral pattern, dots, waves, and geometrics…all so beautifully placed on the jar. It has a lovely shape with the scalloped lip that is accented with painted tan dots. This is a brown jar, not black, and the cream colors, and other browns and tans all look so gorgeous with the brown background. This is an exceptional work of art.
Harrison explained to me that he wanted to design a jar with various types of bears and ravens. In fact, one of the ravens is eating a berry. All the bears are different, and in different poses. Grownups and cubs, there is a combination of species. They all interact so well, and the piece has an overall flowing nature to it. It is beautifully shaped, very full and round. The firing on this pieces is spectacular – a remarkable high sheen is evident.
This is a new black/white traditionally made jar by Lisa Holt and her husband, Harlan Reano. It is so interesting to see what design elements Harlan will paint on the classic shapes that Lisa coils. This is Harlan’s description: “I used a variety of triangle, Chevrons and stripes in a random direction in order to create the design work on this pot.” I had asked for a large jar, with a complex, bold, black and white design pattern, and this is exactly what I had in mind. It is quite dramatic. Simply beautiful.
Bold, brilliant and consistent, this black and white painted design work is outstanding. Lightning and rain in geometric imagery is beautifully executed on this jar. It is a wonderful new piece by Robert.
Large Black Bowl with Classic Feather Patterns (#40306)
This large bowl is magnificent. It is hand coiled and traditionally fired. It is both matte and polished with her classic feather patterns. The lip is scalloped and polished to a high sheen. The contrasts between the polishing and the matte work is striking. This is a beautiful shape, a wonderful form, and such outstanding workmanship.
We have been waiting for many months for Thomas to create this beautiful large open dough bowl for us. Because of its size, several attempts did not make it through the traditional firing, but this one is perfect ! We are calling it “It's all about the cotton” because Thomas is depicting imagery representing cotton plants, fibers, thorns, and wind bowling the plants. It is influenced by old traditional designs from the late 1800's. Hand coiled, using all natural materials and techniques, it is a marvelous example of Thomas's work.
This large wide bowl by Dextra Quotskuyva is phenomenal. Made in 2006, it displays her skills in designing and painting. The deep reds and black work so well together in these triangular pennant shapes. Stippled, and also solid, each triangle compliments the one next to it. The black is bee-weed and the red is a clay slip. The jar was traditionally fired and there are blushes on the surface. It is signed on the bottom, in the clay, “Dextra” along with a corn plant to represent the Corn Clan. The lip is polished a deep red as well. The triangles are graduated sizes, smaller at the top, and widening toward the bottom. The bottom of the bowl has such a beautiful yellow/orange cast to it. You can see why Dextra was so highly regarded as one of the most important potters of our time.
This piece is one that Russell has been working on for well over a year. From the time he begins gathering his clay, to the coiling and drying, designing and incising, and then traditionally firing, it is a remarkable amount of time involved in the process. This is an old-style water jar – classic form in the San Ildefonso tradition. Russell explained that he was Inspired by Florentino and Martina Montoya. When I went to MIAC (Museum of Arts and Culture) in Santa Fe to the opening of the Voice of Clay exhibition – the pottery of San Ildefonso from 1600 to 1930, I was overwhelmed by the artistry and sense of tradition in the large pieces I saw. Looking at this new large jar from Russell, I can see just where that inspiration originates.
This polychrome piece has a sun design on the rim. It is that dark, deep beautiful red tone. If you look inside the opening, you can see how far down Russell is able to polish the neck. Right below the rim is a black polished dotted band representing the night sky. That is bordered by inlaid superfine black jet Heishi. The deep red polished neck is incised in great detail. Russell is telling the story of the great birds. Each of the three birds is in a different pose. Wonderful floral elements separate the birds. More dots are created to border the polychrome checkerboard pattern of red/tan/black tones. In the 1880s to 1920, these color combinations were common. The main shoulder of the jar is covered with a complex pattern that Russell has designed to represent thunder and clouds. He shows the life cycle of germination. The sun rising and the darker color representing the nighttime – the end of the day. Below that area the black Heishi is used again to border another polychrome toned checkerboard.
What an amazing creation this is. Once again Russell has revitalized the old feel of the San Ildefonso water jar at its best.
Delores is one of our last truly traditional Acoma potters. All her materials and all her techniques are time honored, like her ancestors’ works. The pottery walls are amazingly thin and consistent throughout. The design is painted to absolute perfection. Each line is thin and precise, and the application of the fill-in paint is consistent in texture.
When Delores does her painting, she is often recreating design elements she has researched. She specializes in both miniature versions of 19th century potteries as well as larger jars and bowls. On the bottom of the piece, she puts the date of the original pattern she has seen on an earlier pot with its estimated date of creation. This new larger water jar revival design was researched to be from the 1880’s. It is timeless and superb! The varying tones of reds and tans make for a fantastically painted piece.
I had asked Nancy if she would make us a miniature canteen. It turns out, she hadn’t done canteens for many years, but was willing to do it. So, she has made some magnificent ones…Oh, my goodness, this one is so outstanding. To add to the originality of the piece, Nancy has carved two different images on each side. There is a carved shell on one side, and a beautiful avanyu (water serpent) on the other side. On each side there are deep carved curved ribs. So much work on such a small form. She whittled a stopper for it and has added a matching braided leather strap. It is magnificent in every way. This would be a perfect addition to someone’s collection who wanted a small example of Nancy’s great black polished work.
This new red polychrome mini jar is so pleasing. You can see feathers, parrots, and the avanyu – all in varying shades of reds. The tall neck is a great canvas for the elegant prayer feathers. There is such a nice balance of design work on this jar.
This new seed jar is part of Jonathan’s winter themed snow collection. Hand coiled, incised, and traditionally fired, it is double sided with design work. Stately snow owls are portrayed. On one side, it has outstretched wings, and on the other a stately portrait. The snowy owl is a large, white owl of the true owl family. Snowy owls are native to Arctic regions in North America and Eurasia. Males are almost all white, while females have more flecks of black plumage. Johnathan’s incising of these beautiful birds is so accurately shown.
Jennifer and I were figuring out about which animal to put on this beautiful squared off jar. We were trying to think of something new, one she has not done before, and she came up with the idea of PIKAS. A pika is a small mountain-dwelling mammal found in Asia and North America. We have many of them here in Colorado. With short limbs, a very round body, an even coat of fur, and no external tail, they resemble their close relative, the rabbit, but with short, rounded ears. Here is Jennifer’s rendition of the adorable animal – with floral images to go with them. It turned out so well, and the animals fit the shape of this jar excellently. The detail work is marvelous, and the color tones – lovely! She is such a master at this representational incising.
Tan Seed Bowl with "Chinese Coin" Silver Lid (#6308)
We have not had a piece from Preston with this particular lid before. This is a hand coiled tan seed bowl which is beautifully polished. Preston is also a jeweler, and he casts silver into ingots and then inlays them into his pottery. There is always such a nice contrast between the clay and the silver. The silver casting is textured – with ridges, which makes it even more prominent against the polished smooth finish of the seed bowl. The lid acts like a stopper, tightly fitting into the bowl. Preston calls this a “Chinese Coin” lid. As he explains, “It’s East (Chinese coin) meeting West (Hopi clay) It is a stunning creative, clay creation.