Lawrence Namoki Masterpice Creation Hopi Pottery
High on the mesas of Hopiland lives one of the most successful potters today. His name is Lawrence Namoki and he is considered to be one of the best contemporary potters to come out of the Hopi people. His pottery is recognized throughout the world.
Lawrence Namoki resides in First Mesa (Polacca), Arizona. He grew up in the village of Walpi until he started attending high school off the reservation at Phoenix Indian High School in Phoenix, AZ. After completion of High School, he enlisted in the Army and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. He served and trained with Special Forces (Green Berets). After completion of his Armed Forces duty he returned home to be among his people.
His first attempt at the Hopi art was carving Kachina dolls. He was a successful doll carver. His reputation as a highly successful miniature Kachina doll carver brought him fame in the art world.
Lawrence wanted more challenges in Hopi art, so in 1983 he challenged himself to be a successful potter. He took two years practicing with natural clay. In 1985, he made his debut at the Eight Northern Pueblos Artists and Craftsmen Show in San Ildefonso, New Mexico. He entered a masterpiece pottery, "Hopi Ceremonial Calender" and the result was "Governor's Award-Best of Show."
In 1996, two of his pots became part of the Smithsonian Institute permanent collection, which again brought more fame and recognition on the international level of the art world. At this time, more of his pots are being added to the permanent collections of Museums, galleries and private collectors. One of his pots is in the home of one of the Royal Family of England.
"I only attend one public show a year and that's the famous Santa Fe Indian Market sponsored by S.W.A.I. A. I attend this show because of the competition from other artists. This market will show me where I'm at on a scale level as compared to other artists. ... The type of artwork I do cannot be taught in any educational institute. Only a true Hopi can do what I do and he must understand the Hopi culture and the life of a Hopi to do such artwork of this type. All my artwork on pottery is based on Hopi Culture and Myths."
Lawrence is involved in many sacred ceremonies within his Hopi village of Walpi, so it takes some of his time away from pottery. There is no end to his artwork on traditionally made pottery, so Lawrence is working on pottery every day of his life.
Lawrence's signature pottery almost seems to be made of wood rather than hand dug clay. His pottery is both carved and painted with the highest detail. Lawrence is highly spiritual and a great teacher of the Hopi beliefs. Every line and symbol mean something and he names every original piece. All colors are minerals from the earth, no paint is used!
The pottery offered here is one of Lawrence's masterpiece pieces labeled Hopi Solstice. It is a Sikyatki shape large seed pot shaped jar with four panels representing the four seasons, further divided into day and night as evidenced by two black/white panels and two polychrome panels. The panels are divided by Hopi dance sash patterns. The symbols represent ancient Hopi legends. It has the form of a seed pot but with a ladder that reminds of Kiva structures and the Ceremonies of the Hopi. This is genuine hand-coiled Hopi clay painted in natural mineral pigments and fired outdoors.
It is difficult to describe the visual effect that it has on the onlooker. Stunning hardly rises to the mark. The piece is very large, measuring 6 inches tall by 13 inches in diameter.
Lawrence has produced an extended document describing the Hopi beliefs in creation and the future of the world, along with songs of the Hopi People and that accompanies purchase of the pottery.
Item No.: A1578
Artist: Lawrence Namoki
Size: 6 in H x 13 in D