Preston Duwyenie was born in 1951 in Hotevilla, on Third Mesa in northeastern Arizona where the Hopi people have lived for centuries. Preston grew up surrounded with beauty. "Everyone has an art. My mother was a basket weaver, my father a Katsina carver. You grow up learning how to make art." Lomaiquilvaa (Carried in Beauty) is his Hopi name, given to him after his godmother carried him home asleep late in the evening after his initiation ceremony. That name has evolved into Preston's hallmark.
He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts, then he did some Master of Fine Arts coursework at the University of Colorado. In 1988, Preston moved back to Santa Fe to take a position as Professor of Traditional Pottery and Jewelry at the Institute of American Indian Arts. In 1996 he retired from that position to focus on his art full time.
Since the late 1980s, Preston has used micaceous clays and sterling silver inlays in creating most of his contemporary pieces. In the Shifting Sands Series, he was inspired by the image of fine sand transformed by wind or water into a series of concentric subtle ripples. To him, the silver represents the precious life blood of water while the pattern etched around the inlay represents the clouds and water contained within. This is a silent Hopi prayer for water to always be in the Earth so that we may exist.
As a traditional potter producing contemporary styles and designs, Preston has exhibited at the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market in Phoenix, the Colorado Indian Market in Denver, Santa Fe Indian Market and the Eight Northern Pueblos Arts and Crafts Show. He has earned countless awards in the traditional and contemporary pottery divisions, including 2 Best of Shows from the Colorado Indian Market and 1 Best of Show from the Heard Museum Market.
Preston tells us he finds his inspiration in Nature and most enjoys making pots with shoulders and decorating them with shifting designs. In his words: "I love the profession I'm in... love doing it."
Some of the Recent Awards Preston has Earned
- 2019 - 1st Place, Unpainted pottery, any form, Santa Fe Indian Market
- 2019 - 1st Place, Sgraffito, any form, a collaboration with his wife Debra, Santa Fe Indian Market