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An unusually large Sikytaki-style polychrome pottery “Flying Saucer” jar with

a “Migration Pattern” design by Michael Peter Hawley, Scottsdale, Arizona,1987

The talented, recently-deceased, Scottsdale, Arizona ceramic artist and historian, Michael Peter Hawley (1948-2012) specialized in making modern-day ceramics inspired by the techniques, methods and designs of the ancient Hopi and other Southwestern Native peoples. Michael Hawley's pieces are unique, original pieces of contemporary ceramic art informed by ancient tradition. They are not in any way copies or replicas.  

This beautiful, large Sikyatki-style “Flying Saucer” jar, is made in the Sikyatki polychrome style dating from 1375-1625 A.D. The famous Sikyatki “Flying Saucer” has always been admired and valued as one of the most beautiful to look at and most difficult to make of all Southwestern pottery forms because of its dramatic swooping shape, thin walls and very large size. In making this jar, Michael Hawley used only indigenous clays from the ancient clay beds on the Hopi mesas and he painstakingly constructed the jar completely by hand in the traditional ancient manner using no modern tools at all. He hand-ground native minerals and plant material to make his paint pigments, applied his original painted designs with no previous sketches using only a hand-chewed yucca fiber brush and then laboriously “fired” the jar using hot-burning native coal fuel in a kiln he hand built himself employing only the exact technology that was available hundreds of years ago. As you can see, the result is absolutely magical.

This jar measures an exceptionally large 17 3/4” in diameter and 8” in height and it is in thoroughly excellent original condition with one or two minor scuffs at the shoulder. It features a very beautiful, four-color polychrome “Migration pattern” design, so-called because it refers to certain ancient Hopi legends concerning the extended wandering migrations of the various Hopi clans before finally settling on what are now known as the Hopi Mesas in Northern Arizona approximately 1,000 years ago. There is also a wonderful circular section of “Spit” or “Splatter” paint around the jar above the shoulder around the neck extending up to the rim.  Hawley applied this “Spit” or “Splatter” paint by first taking a small amount of paint into his mouth and then blowing it out forcefully through a narrow, natural reed tube onto this area of the jar. The jar is signed “Chakoptewa”, Michael Hawley’s adopted Hopi name, above his smoking pipe insignia and it is also dated “1987 MY3” on the bottom.

From the late 1970's through the 1980's, a series of completely sold-out one-man shows of Michael Hawley’s ceramics took place at the prominent Gallery 10 in Scottsdale and the Elaine Horwitch Galleries in Scottsdale and Santa Fe. When you look at his outstanding pottery pieces such as this jar, it is very easy to see why.

Price $2,900

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