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A Hopi polychrome pottery bowl with a stylized Sikyatki-style bird design by Garnet Pavatea, c. 1950's-1960's
The marvelous 20th century Hopi potter, Garnet Pavatea (1915-1981) was, in our view, the most talented Hopi potter of the second half of the 20th Century. Her potting is impeccable, her painting precise, her polish is out of this world good. She perfected a style all her own, drawing many design elements from ancient Sikyatki pottery as the Nampeyo family did before her. She clashed famously and often with various Nampeyos over the years, especially Fannie and Priscilla, who accused her of stealing "their" designs. Garnet would always sensibly reply that she believed the ancient pottery belonged to all the Hopis, not just to the Nampeyo family. Garnet had very strong opinions on just about everything and was not hesitant in the least to share them.
One of Garnet's most beautiful and characteristic pottery techniques was the use of two-color slip on the same vessel, using one color on the inside of the piece and the other color on the outside. This bowl displays this technique beautifully, having a yellow slip inside and a deep, red slip on the exterior. The bowl has a very spare, stylized Sikyatki-style bird design painted against the yellow interior while the red exterior has been left completely unpainted.
The bowl’s rim is black as Garnet's rims almost ways were. The polish on this bowl, both inside and outside, is nothing short of phenomenal. The bowl measures 10" in diameter, 3 1/2” in height and it is in outstanding original condition.
It is properly signed "Garnet Pavatea" on the bottom in Garnet’s customary signature.