The bowl, which features two bird designs separated by panels of abstract decoration, is perfectly shaped and unusually low. As a result, the decoration forms a strongly horizontal band, which forces the viewer’s eye to sweep along. At first glance, the decorations appear as disconnected elements—until the circular head and triangular beak seize the eye. At second glance, it becomes apparent that most of the decorative elements cohere into an elegant bird image with a long, flowing tail. Most bird images with this orientation on Hopi pottery are rather matronly and squared-off (see 1998-10, 2007-01, and 2007-13)—but not the images on 2007-15, which are more akin to Hopi peacocks. The design is extraordinarily graceful, elegant, and whimsical. The design perfectly fits the pot. Hopi pots don’t get any better than this.

For other pots in the collection by Rachel, see the Artist List.

Purchase History:
Purchased on 11/14/07 on eBay from Ross Bendixen, Bellevue, WA. While the image of the head was clear in the eBay listing, the overall avian image was not. It had to be pieced together and imagined. Pot 2007-15 seems to have been sold by Munn Auctions in October 2006, lot #880. (Photograph of the Munn bowl on file.) The website, (under “Hopi”) shows pots by Rachel Sahmie. One of the pots appears to be 2007-15.