This piece represents the evolution of style and design. The bowl is stamped in the traditional swift creek style. For the base I made the bark stamp out of clay. By mirroring a section of dogwood bark with clay, the living tree helps to tell the story. The base represents the actual physical appearance of the tree while the lid represents the divine creation that is within. Perhaps the lid can be seen as an intuitive rendering of tree cells magnified 1000 times. This piece is available through Native American Collections. Click on this link and scroll down to the bottom of the page: http://nativepots.com/sanpottery.html
Here is a piece that I created recently. The reason that I made this piece was to suggest a connection to our ancestral roots. If you look closely at ancient pottery, especially corrugated pottery where the coils are left exposed in a lap pattern, you can often spot fingerprints. These fingerprints are the mark of the potter and they communicate the soul of the design.
The stamp pattern that I designed for this piece was based on the mark of a fingerprint of a contemporary potter. The rim design is informed by ancient kettle design. It intends to suggest the communication with the ancestors through the language of clay. Below is a link to the King Gallery website Wyandot pottery section.
photo by Charles King
This hand-built vessel was coiled and stamped with ancient Mound-builder design. It is made from clay that I collected and processed from Vinita OK. The stamp design was carved into a piece of walnut wood and impressed into the vessel as it was formed. This technique was developed originally by ancient mound-builder cultures from what is now considered the Midwest and Southern United States. The white slip on the outside I collected outside of Silver City New Mexico and rendered into paint. The rest of the colors are made from the base clay slip with added oxides and stains. The rim was polished with a smooth stone when the piece was leather hard and drying. The nesting piece on the inside was made from tiny coils made from the same clay. Each of the coils is separately rolled out and left exposed to form the design. This piece represents the contemporary expression of ancient pottery tradition. Reviving ancient indigenous pottery techniques is a Wyandot tradition. Creating clay sculpture is a vehicle for personal expression and honoring indigenous roots.
I took these photos while making my latest bark stamp vessel.
To make the stamp I simply pressed a slab of clay into the bark
of a hickory tree and fired it. Usually I carve stanps out of wood
but this is something different.
Here is the second go around with the stamp.
It is a pretty deeply textured stamp,
When stamping the form expands in a controlled manner.
The coiled form is built to anticipate the expansion.
Getting ready to round the shoulder.
Here I have my stamping kit:
Stamp, crushed flint for release and Lingam
Stone for an anvil.
Here we are half-way around.
Look at how much the form stretches as it receives texture.
After stamping, it is time to give the wheel a spin
and shape the inside with a rib tool.
Finishing out the form.
Stamping coiling, stamping coiling…
Now to paint the interior with iron slip.
After this I get to rub the inside with a stone.
After the form is completed it is left to dry and then fired.
Then it is painted and fired again.
While it is still warm the interior is rubbed with linseed oil
to protect the piece and enhance the surface.
This Piece is Shaped in the traditional Wyandot kettle style. It is decorated with an original stamp based on ancient Swift Creek pottery designs. The decorations have been enhanced by hand ground slip paint that are fired on. The stamp I carved from a chunk of walnut wood collected many years ago.
This photo was taken in Wyandotte, OK in front of Uncle Richards kiln in which it had its final firing. The firing was part of a very productive trip. In a weekend we fired this pot, finished my hack-berry long-bow, attended the Seneca Cayuga social dance and visited with family and friends. At the end of the weekend I brought this and three other pieces to Lovett’s gallery in Tulsa who quickly found homes for them within the following week!
This piece I made last fall after the oak trees had a “mast” year. There were huge acorns everywhere. It was amazing to see the vast quantities of these life bringing expressions. I dedicate this piece to the white-tail deer who feeds on these and feeds us with her beauty.
Twin Castellated Kettle
This Native Clay vessel refers to the Wyandot creation story.