Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Navajo Folk Art Mud Toys Mamie Deschillie aka Mamie Deschellie & Elsie Benally at Two Graces

Navajo Mud Toys

Mamie Deschillie (Deschellie) & Elsie Benally

ca. 1980-90’s

This is our current inventory of Navajo Folk Art Mud Toys (10/20/20)

Navajo Folk Art Toys, specifically unfired clay animal figures painted with tempera paint were made by Mamie Deschillie (of Fruitland near Farmington, NM) and Elsie Benally (of Sweetwater, AZ), (Rose Herbert is another mud toy artist), starting around 1983. 

Large Tiger with Turquoise Eyes Mamie Deschillie

This has been acquired, thank you.

Second View of Tiger Close-up N/A

Lion with beaded forehead and Mane, Mamie Deschillie (the lion has been acquired, thank you)

Santa Riding Chicken $50. (signed MD) Mamie Deschillie

Santa Riding Cow (signed MD) Mamie Deschillie

(Santa Riding a Cow has been acquired, thank you)

Gray Panther Tiger SOLD (signed MD) Mamie Deschillie

Small Tiger (signed MD) Mamie Deschillie

This has been acquired, thank you

Elephant SOLD (signed MD) Mamie Deschillie

M.D. signature of Mamie Deschillie

Cowboy on Horseback SOLD Mamie Deschillie

Zebra $50. Mamie Deschillie

Big Shabby Lion w Teeth Mamie Deschillie

(The Shabby Lion has been acquired, thank you)

Second View of Big Shabby Lion w Teeth (NA)

Alligator SOLD Mamie Deschillie

Navajo Woman w Chicken $50. Mamie Deschillie SOLD

Navajo Folk Artist Mamie Deschillie (1920-2010) aka Deschellie

2020 is her 100th anniversary year, we celebrate her unique talent through this collection.

White Buffalo SOLD Elsie Benally

Santa Riding Alligator SOLD Elsie Benally

Donkey Pack Animal $50. Elsie Benally

Sheep, Elsie Benally (the sheep has been acquired, thank you)

Sandstone Pickup Truck w 2 Pigs $30.

(attributed to Benally's son in law Homer Warren)

Sandstone Spotted Horse (this horse has been acquired, thank you)

Cardboard & Velvet Navajo Woman Riding Horse SOLD Mamie Deschillie

Second View of Cardboard Navajo Woman Riding Horse 

Mud Toy availability is quite limited, the mud toys are quite fragile and susceptible to damage, perhaps this makes them rare and more and more difficult to come by. Mud Toys are dried in the sun, they are not fired to harden the clay, then painted with flat bright tempera paints. 

Inspiration for these artists comes from Children’s Books, Circus Animals and animals on the Navajo Reservation. Occasionally Mamie would make up a magical animal out of her imagination. Deschillie would travel 18-20 miles to her source of 'mud' in order to seek out just the right type of earth for her creations. The Navajo People are believed to have used the toys as early as 1880. Mud Toys have similar characteristics to clay animal fetish figures used by the people of nearby Pueblos in Arizona and New Mexico, often they were left at shrine sites, later to wear away in the wind and elements where they would melt back into Mother Earth.

Deschellie is also known for her Cardboard Animal Figures she called ‘Cutouts’ of the same topics as her mud toys. We have one listed here of a Navajo Woman on Horseback.

For me these figures are reminiscent of the figures of wire and found objects by Alexander Calder for his “Calder’s Circus” in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Every bit as whimsical and filled with wonder, in particular the circus animals, these are now desirable to collectors everywhere.

In 1990 I came upon the cutout cardboard figures created by Mamie Deschellie in a Trading Post shop in Aztec, NM (near Farmington), there I purchased as many cutouts as they had giving them as gifts for friends who still cherish them (as I do) to this day.

Works by both Deschellie and Benally are in the permanent collections of major American Museums.

True Folk Art is rarely signed, pressure in the market place has forced many artists to include their signature. When looking at these figures you begin to notice significant differences between the two women artists. Folk Art styles are unique to the individual artists who make them.

Both Deschellie and Benally are listed in the book “Navajo Folk Art; the People Speak”, by Chuck and Jan Rosenak.

Mud Toy Sizes range from 2.5” - 6’ in length

Mamie Deschellie with a pair of large cardboard figures

Calling us with your order request and payment information is the best and fastest way to receive a response of what is available. 

575-770-5580 (between 10-5 Mountain Time)

or email your request to 




We will get back to you asap and ask that you then call with shipping and payment information.

We ship throughout the United States.

A side note: from time to time I do restoration on Mud Toys, if you have a cherished figure please reach out about my restoration service. It's best to send an email that includes a photo of the damage or what might be missing such as a leg or an ear.


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The Whimsical Rusty Gold of Pozzi Franzetti Updated

 Pozzi (Rosemary) Franzetti (1953-2012) 

We are grateful that so many of you have found this post and made purchases. 

It's time to have everything still available priced at $10. 

This is the last of our Pozzi Inventory!

It is best to come by Two Graces in the Taos Historic District at 105 Barela Lane just off Kit Carson Road.

Calling us with your order request and payment information is the best and fastest way to receive a response of what is available. 

575-770-5580 (between 10:30-5:30 Mountain Time)

or email your request to 




We will get back to you asap and ask that you then call with shipping and payment information.

We ship throughout the United States.

Thank You

Pozzi Franzetti Business Card Logo

This blog post has been edited and updated as of September 14, 2021
(66 items available!)

These are the BEST Prices ANYWHERE.

Lizards 8.25" x 5.75" 

Bucking Bronco Cowboy 

Double Switch Plate 10.5" x 13" 

Pozzi Franzetti Horse on Hill Double Switch Plate Cover 10.5" x 9"

Pozzi Franzetti Laughing Horse turned head

Triple Switch Plate 

Pozzi Franzetti Rolly Polli Cat Single Switch Plate Covers  

Pozzi Franzetti Moving Men

Double Outlet Cover with Single Switch 10" x 10.25"

'Fainting Spell Couple' Switch Plate/Outlet Cover 7.25" x 10"


Pozzi Franzetti Pueblo Clouds

Double Switch with Outlet 8.5" x 8"

Double Outlet 6" x 7" 

Five Switch Plate 11.5" x 8"

Double Outlet Tall 6" x 8.5"

Pozzi Franzetti Jonah in the Whale Single Switch Plate Cover 5.5" x 10.5"

Coyote Skier on Base 14” tall 

Skier Hurricane Shaker 16" tall 

Noah & the Whale on base 11” tall 

Petroglyph Movers carrying sign standing on base 9.5” wide 

Earthquake Shaker Basketball Player 12.5” tall

Tennis Champ standing on base 11.5" tall 

Candle Sconce 11" x 10.5"tall

Tennis Player Woman 

Kokopelli w Child 16.5" tall 

Koshare Skate Boarders 8” x 11.5” 

Dragon Disc 6.5" x 8.5" 

Mountain Biker with wind it their back 17" tall 

Seal 10" width, Large Fish 12" width 

4 Smiling Faces are available 5.5" x 6" 

Antlered Smiling Petroglyph 5.25" x 4.5" 

Abstract Petroglyphs Arms Up 

Rock N Roll Guitar Player

Wayne's World Dude 12.5" tall each

Maple Leaf  7”,  Oak Leaf 9” (top Oak Leaf has SOLD)  'Curled' Oak Leaf 

Leaf Round Cutout 6.5” 

Walking Woman 

Abstract A-symmetrical 13” x 9” 

Abstract Symmetrical 7.5” x 8.5”

Abstract hand 12.5” 

Brancusi/Picasso Abstract Dove 14" across 

Millicent Rogers Style 'Walking Star" 7" tall

Medium Star 6.25”, Star 5.75” 

Small Heart 2.5” x 2.5”

Large Heart 16.5” x 7” 

Abstract Cutout 10" x 13.5"

Abstract zig Zags

Abstract cloud 7" x 10" 


Frog Business Card Holders 

Settling in to Taos, New Mexico in the mid 80’s, Pozzi Franzetti created some of the most loved sculpture available here. 

Over the next thirty years Pozzi created ‘Jo-Mama’s Pot Pies', but later what she was best known for was ‘Franzetti Metal Works’ which became a sensation. 

In the late 80's Pozzi also took the time to teach welding classes to Taos youngsters at her ‘art camp’ in a small corner of Metric Motors. From the stories I've been told they were in awe of her.

The Earthquake Detectors (or Hurricane Detectors), are flat figures on a ‘spring’ which rock when the ground shakes or the wind blows. These are some of the most coveted garden ornaments around, rarely available, prices for these have ballooned to $200. and up for a small one. 

We have priced everything currently in stock quite fairly and much lower than what is available from any other sources. 

At one point Franzetti metal works were the number one seller through 

Robert Redford’s Sundance Catalogue. 

She even sold her work through the Home Shopping Network. 

She was always selling at area craft fairs, where her booth was the most popular. 

Pozzi Franzetti made art that you could live with, which often had a functionality to it along with a fun lighthearted sense of whimsy. 

We call them Rusty-Gold and purchase them for our shop whenever possible. 

We’ve even sold the ones out of our home to visitors who’ve insisted that we share these treasures. Normally we are lucky to have 1 or 2 of Pozzi Franzetti sculptures, at this time we are honored to have many available. 

It's a Pozzi-Palozza!

Pozzi Franzetti created quite a unique niche in the world of Taos Art, her works are everywhere around Taos and across the country.

There may be imitators out there but what we've selected are the last of the best.

There are light switch covers and wall sculptures of petroglyphs, dancing figures and anything that struck her fancy. 

For years a Franzetti light switch cover was the perfect gift for any new home owner, they brought magic to a room. Light-switch covers could be inspired by Native American Petroglyphs, sports figures, pigs, rams, cats, or neighing horses.

The Light Switch and Outlet Covers are our number one selling item from our shop, please check with us for current inventory.

Pozzi Franzetti Gouache Abstract on paper.

This was acquired some time ago.

Gateway at Van Vechten Lineberry Home

Somewhere off the High Road to Taos a farm has used Franzetti 'blanks' in an imaginative way for fencing.

A few photos of the Pozzi Franzetti Studio Yard Production
At one time Pozzi was producing more artwork than anyone in Taos
The studio yard is now virtually empty

Here are 2 examples of a stamped Signature and occasionally she'll have added a signed engraving